Ramaphosa: Heal the wounds of Marikana

After being called a murderer by the EFF, Cyril Ramaphosa says he wants the wounds of Marikana to be healed.

FILE. After being called a murderer by the EFF, Cyril Ramaphosa says he wants the wounds of Marikana to be healed. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says it's important to heal the wounds of the Marikana tragedy and to move on.

The deputy president was speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, after being accused by Economic Freedom Fighter's (EFF) leader Julius Malema of having the blood of 34 miners on his hands.

The 34 mineworkers were killed at the hands of police in August 2012 at Lonmin Platinum in the North West.

Ramaphosa was a member of the mining company at the time.

A commission of inquiry is also currently underway, investigating whether police were justified in using lethal force against the miners.

In Parliament on Wednesday National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said, "Honourable Malema withdraw the remark that the deputy president's hands are full of blood."

To which the EFF leader responded, "The deputy president's hand have got blood [on them]; a lot of blood of 34 innocent mineworkers."

Mbete interrupted Malema, insisting he withdraw his statement.

But Malema said he would not.

"I am not going to do that. The deputy president killed the people in Marikana."

Mbete then told the EFF leader he had to leave the house.

"If you are not going to withdraw that, you have to then leave the house."

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu directly accused Ramaphosa of being a murderer.

Both Shivambu and Malema refused to withdraw their remarks and were ordered from the house by Mbete, triggering an exit of all the EFF Members of Parliament.

Shivambu is also alleged to have shown Ramaphosa his middle finger on his way out.

Ramaphosa told MPs that government is acting on improving the living and working conditions of mineworkers and how to deal with the migrant labour system.

"The first thing we obviously have to do is to heal the wounds that were caused by the tragedy of Marikana and to move on in a way that we will, in a practical way, heal those wounds and look after those who are victims."