A series of e-mails released at yesterday’s sitting of the Marikana Commission paints ANC heavyweight and one of South Africa’s wealthiest men, Cyril Ramaphosa, as a cold-hearted businessman.
Released by Advocate Dali Mpofu – who is representing injured miners and more than 200 workers who were arrested – the e-mail correspondence with Lonmin executives portrays Ramaphosa as callous.
In an e-mail to Albert Jamieson, Lonmin’s chief commercial officer, a day before the August 16 shooting, Ramaphosa wrote: “The terrible events that have unfolded cannot be described as a labour dispute. They are plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such. There needs to be concomitant action to address this situation.”
This is in stark contrast to the compassionate image Ramaphosa projected in the aftermath of the Marikana massacre, in which 34 miners were shot dead. On August 17, Ramaphosa – a former National Union of Mineworkers leader and whose name is being bandied about as a possible ANC deputy president – visited the site of the shooting as part of a delegation with President Jacob Zuma. On August 18, Ramaphosa’s Shanduka company announced he had donated R2 million towards the funeral costs of the miners.
“It is critical that all parties take meaningful steps to ensure that nothing of this nature ever happens again. For this reason, Shanduka Group supports a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances that gave rise to this incident,” the company said.
Yesterday, Mpofu told the commission that the e-mails showed a direct “toxic collusion” between Lonmin, Mineral Resources minister Susan Shabangu’s department, the police ministry, State security agencies and Ramaphosa.
“It is clear Ramaphosa was directly involved by advising what was to be done to address these ‘dastardly criminal actions’, which he says must be characterised as such and dealt with effectively,” Mpofu said.
Ramaphosa’s office refused to comment
RAMAPHOSA’S office refused to comment yesterday, saying the matter was being dealt with by the commission.
Lonmin denied claims that it colluded with the police and the government in the days before the shooting, saying its engagement with the appropriate state authorities “was simply part of a process aimed at achieving normality”.-Timeslive