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Amcu: Ramaphosa must be investigated over Marikana

Amcu has pointed fingers at Cyril Ramaphosa who was a Lonmin shareholder at the time of the shootings.

FILE: Amcu is submitting its closing arguments at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry which is in its final phase. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should be investigated for the role he played in the Marikana shootings.

Amcu is submitting its closing argument at the Farlam Commission of the Inquiry which is now in its final phase after sitting for more than 293 days, and hearing testimony from over 50 witnesses.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 34 miners who were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012 at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

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.

Amcu's Heidi Barnes has defended the union's actions in Marikana, saying it was not behind the unprotected strike which led to violence and several deaths.

Barnes has however pointed fingers at Ramaphosa who 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.

"The deputy president was asking for more action at a time when the situation had been brought under control. We say he should be investigated."

Barnes says Lonmin colluded with the police in order to break the strike in August 2012.

Meanwhile, Lonmin yesterday told the inquiry that Ramaphosa acted as a "responsible businessman" in the days leading up to the fatal Marikana shooting.

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.

AMCU DEFENDS ITS ACTIONS IN MARIKANA

Amcu has defended its actions in Marikana, saying it was not behind the unprotected strike in 2012 which descended into deadly violence.

Barnes says Lonmin had a duty to engage with the protesters but refused to do so.

She says Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa tried his best to arrange meetings to discuss the strike and spoke to the miners to try and convince them to disperse.

She says there are still several misconceptions about Amcu's role.

"There is no basis for any suggestion that Amcu was behind either the demand for R12,500, the unprotected strike or the violence that followed."

Barnes maintains that misinformation about the strike was spread by Lonmin which put the union in a bad light.

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