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Marikana Inquiry: Lonmin defends Ramaphosa

Lonmin defended the deputy president, saying he only wanted to stabilise the situation and end the killings.

FILE: Crosses on the koppie in Marikana, where 34 miners were killed in a standoff with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lonmin has told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa acted as a "responsible businessman" in the days leading up to the fatal Marikana shooting.

Thirty-four North West miners were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012 during an ongoing labour strike.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force when the protesting miners were gunned down.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

The commission is in its final phase, after sitting for 293 days and hearing testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time and sent out an email 24 hours before the shooting calling for "concomitant action" against miners by the police.

Lonmin's lawyer Schalk Burger told the commission that the platinum group can't accuse Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa has been accused of using his political power to influence the police to end the violent strike.

But Lonmin defended the deputy president, saying he only wanted to stabilise the situation and end the killings.

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