12 August 2014

South Africa: Ramaphosa Heckled at Marikana Inquiry

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (file photo).

Pretoria — Several protesters yelled at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa again on Tuesday afternoon as he gave evidence at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

"Murderer", "Buffalo head", "Killer", "Sellout", shouted a group of men in the auditorium of the Tshwane Council chambers where the inquiry holds public hearings.

Police officers rushed to the entrance as commission chairman retired judge Ian Farlam instructed the protesters to leave the room.

The men left the room still shouting. Ramaphosa stared as the group shouted.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on August 16, 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

Ramaphosa was a non-executive director and shareholder of Lonmin at the time.

On Monday, bodyguards rushed to the auditorium as the protesters heckled Ramaphosa for the first time.

Farlam briefly adjourned the proceedings after the session was brought to a standstill.

The group banged on tables and clapped hands shouting "Ramaphosa must resign" and "blood on his hands".

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