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Ramaphosa ducks Marikana questions

Ramaphosa told MPs he was served with a summons so he couldn't discuss Marikana-related matters.

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in the National Assembly in Parliament on 12 August 2015. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under fire for not answering a question about whether a compensation fund for Marikana victims' families is on the cards.

During his question and answer session in the National Assembly yesterday, he said he would not get involved in government's alternative dispute resolution process because he's been served with a summons.

The summons relates to the August 2012 tragedy in which 34 mineworkers were shot dead by police.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry found Ramaphosa, who was a Lonmin shareholder at the time, was not responsible for the massacre.

Ramaphosa told Members of Parliament after receiving legal advice, he's decided it would be inappropriate to speak about matters related to the Marikana tragedy.

But the deputy president was thin on details.

"The summons has been issued against me, in my personal capacity and two other parties arising from the events of Marikana in 2012."

When Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane pressed Ramaphosa for an answer about whether a compensation fund would be set up, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete insisted Ramaphosa had responded and they should move on.

The DA's John Steenhuisen was not impressed and said what the deputy president said wasn't enough.

"And the ruling clearly essentially means now that the deputy president can come here and basically recite a nursery rhyme and we must just accept that as a proper answer. That's not accountability and transparency envisaged by the Constitution."

The DA said it's now up to President Jacob Zuma to provide answers on the issue when he appears in the house next week.