NewsSouthern AfricaSouth African opposition to lay criminal charges against Deputy President over Marikana massacre


Posted on Thursday, 02 July 2015 16:11

South African opposition to lay criminal charges against Deputy President over Marikana massacre

By Crystal Orderson in Cape Town

South Africa's Deputy President Cyril RamaphosaSouth African opposition, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) say they will lay criminal charges against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Lonmin executives and police commissioner, Riyah Piyega for allegedly conspiring to kill miners at the Marikana police station.

Addressing a press briefing on Thursday, the EFF also rejected findings of the Farlam Commission, a commission of enquiry into the killings of about 40 people at Marikana mine, which exonerated Ramaphosa and Lonmin executives.

Last week, President Jacob Zuma released the commission's findings, which exonerated Ramaphosa, a Lonmin board member then and now the Deputy President of the country, in spite of arguments by the miners' lawyers that he was the cause of the massacre and he must be held accountable for the death of 34 mine workers.

The commission found that it cannot be said that Ramaphosa was the cause of the massacre, and the accusations against him were groundless.

Forty-four people were killed during unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with the police on August 16.

EFF leader, Julius Malema said Ramaphosa had influenced the police and already labelled the striking miners as criminals.

The Farlam Commission also found that the executive played no role in the decision by the police to fire at the miners if they did not lay down their coarse weapons, leading to the deaths of the 34.

The EFF say they also want the police commissioner and police members in the Northwest Province to be brought to book.

Malema said they also want to see a process of reparations from Lonmin.

They are demanding payments for all families of the deceased of up to R10 million ($800,000) per family.

"The party says this would be fair compensation".

Malema said they want the National Prosecutions Authority to act swiftly and if the party is unsuccessful they will head for private prosecution to ensure their chances of justice and success for the families and victims of the massacre.

Zuma appointed a commission of enquiry after the killings and it completed its task after about two years of gathering oral evidence from 56 witnesses and transcripts running to almost 40,000 pages.

The commission recommended a full investigation, under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West province, to ascertain criminal liability on the part of all members of the police service who were involved in the incidents at scene.

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