“Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa must apologise to the families of the injured and the dead for agitating and inciting the South African Police against them,” the African National Congress Youth League said in a statement.
On Tuesday, advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the miners injured and arrested after the shooting on August 16, said there was an e-mail in which Ramaphosa strongly condemned the protests, described them as criminal acts and suggested “concomitant action”.
Mpofu told the Farlam Commission into the shootings, which is holding hearings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, that the e-mail was sent 24-hours before 34 miners were killed.
“He advanced that what was taking place were criminal acts and must be characterised as such. In line with this characterisation (Ramaphosa said) there needs to be concomitant action to address the situation,” said Mpofu.
He said e-mails were exchanged between Ramaphosa, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Lonmin management and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu.
Ramaphosa sits on the Lonmin board. The striking miners killed in the shooting were from Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana.
He is also executive chairman of Shanduka Resources, which owns half of Incwala Resources, Lonmin’s black economic empowerment partner.
Ramaphosa chaired the ANC’s national disciplinary committee of appeals which upheld the expulsion from the party of former ANCYL president Julius Malema, and at which Malema was represented by Mpofu.
The Hawks are investigating charges, brought by the trade union Solidarity, that Malema incited violence during the strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
The ANCYL said Ramaphosa had “lost any credibility as a genuine leader of the people, and as a revolutionary committed to the cause of the working class”.
“With his e-mail to Police Minister, Comrade Nathi Mthethwa, Comrade Ramaphosa delivered the more than 40 people to their death(s) at Marikana,” the ANCYL said.
It said that Ramaphosa’s preoccupation with the preservation of his monetary interests in Lonmin led him to call for concomitant action to deal with the criminal acts.
“As a seasoned unionist, the ANC Youth League expected more from Comrade Ramaphosa.
“The criminal acts he spoke of were the legitimate calls of workers demanding a decent wage.”
The league said Mthethwa had yet to explain from where the police got their orders.
The ANCYL called for a moratorium on all dismissals of workers and a return to order in the mining industry.
“The call for nationalisation of mines has never been more urgent and we call on ANC leaders with vested interests in the mining industry to subordinate their interests in favour of the collective good of all in South Africa, as demanded by the Freedom Charter.”