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Ramaphosa, Shabangu and Mthethwa should be among those prosecuted for Marikana miners’ deaths

In this file picture, families and friends of Marikana miners killed by the police gather at a koppie during the cleansing ceremony held in Wonderkop, Marikana. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

In this file picture, families and friends of Marikana miners killed by the police gather at a koppie during the cleansing ceremony held in Wonderkop, Marikana. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu.

Published Aug 23, 2021


By Kenneth Mokgatlhe

Exactly nine years after the senseless Marikana massacre happened, the families of the victims have not been compensated while the perpetrators have gotten away with murder.

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Cyril Ramaphosa, Susan Shabangu, and Nathi Mthethwa should be among those who are charged and prosecuted for their role in the death of 34 mineworkers who were demanding improved wages and better working conditions.

The democratic dispensation delivered by the ANC in 1994 took a decision to demilitarise the police force which was notorious for its brutality. The SAPS has instead been remilitarised and that has made it unreliable.

In the case of Marikana, the political and financial influence inside the police force was highly visible. Ramaphosa was a London Mines (Lonmin) board member when the Marikana Massacre took place in 2012; he has not accounted for his role until now.

Ramaphosa had exerted pressure on the government prior to the massacre as he “demanded” the government to take “concomitant actions” and “to move fast” against mineworkers who were embarking on industrial action.

There are some commentators, journalists, or opinion makers who want to tell us that Ramaphosa is better than Jacob Zuma while all of them are the same.

Zuma was elected by the ANC into the highest office while there were allegations of corruption against him.

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Cyril Ramaphosa was directly involved in the massacre of 34 innocent mineworkers in Marikana some nine years ago; he was the deputy-president during the period at which our state is alleged to have been captured by the controversial Gupta family.

Ramaphosa did not end there, he sought a court order to seal his banking details about his presidential campaign. We now know that Ramaphosa is not as transparent as he had alleged. As we are seated here, we do not know who might be capturing our state as Ramaphosa is refusing to let us know who “invested” in his tenure.

Our political system does not allow electors to vote for their preferred head of state, we are only allowed to vote for political parties. People cannot be blamed for voting for the ANC, the ANC should be blamed for electing delinquents as party leaders.

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Ramaphosa has been the deputy president and president of this country for more than seven years; he had failed to help implement the Farlam Commission’s recommendations on the Marikana massacre.

Ramaphosa had once joked about going to visit Marikana during the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s birthday party, however that hasn’t happened.

Speaking as if they are helpless and powerless, the ANC issued a statement calling for the government to help affected families. “We reiterate our call to the government to move with speed in implementing programmes that will help alleviate the plight of affected families and to ensure that conditions that led to this tragedy are addressed,” it read.

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If the EFF was able to stump up R1 million, then why would this be difficult for the party running the affairs of the state? Who is in charge of the state of affairs? The ANC is not helpless. They often portray themselves as victims; they should be shaping how society should look. It is clear that there is no political will to help the widows and other victims of the Marikana massacre because they desperately wish people could forget what happened on August 16, 2012.

Kenneth Mokgatlhe is an independent writer, political and social commentator.

The Star

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Cyril Ramaphosa