Lonmin denies claims of govt collusion

2012-10-23 22:39

Johannesburg - Lonmin on Tuesday denied claims that it colluded with the police and the government in the days before the Marikana mine shooting.

"Lonmin's action to engage with appropriate authorities of the state was simply part of a process aimed at achieving normality," the company said in a statement.

"Lonmin is a mining company and is not responsible for law enforcement."

The platinum miner was responding to arguments heard on Tuesday at the Farlam inquiry, which is investigating the 16 August shooting at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

The company said it wanted to communicate with the government to ensure it understood the company's view of the situation, to ensure a peaceful resolution of the matter.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the miners injured and arrested after the shooting, told the inquiry of an e-mail in which ANC heavyweight and Lonmin board member Cyril Ramaphosa strongly condemned the protests, described them as criminal acts and suggested "concomitant action".

"This [e-mail] was [sent] on 15 August at 14:58, exactly 24 hours before the people were mowed down on that mountain," said Mpofu.

"We have e-mails that were being exchanged between Lonmin management, government ministers [of mineral resources and the police], and at the centre is a gentleman called Cyril Ramaphosa," he said.

"He advanced that what was taking place were criminal acts and must be characterised as such."

Mpofu said the e-mail was addressed to a certain "dear Albert of Lonmin".

He said evidence would be led to discredit claims that the shootings were spontaneous acts committed in self-defence by police officers.

One of the causes of the Marikana tragedy was a "toxic collusion between the state and capital", he said.

"The main causes of the massacre are the SA Police Service [SAPS], other agencies of government, and Lonmin. The people I represent here seek the truth for themselves and their colleagues who passed away."

Mpofu described the actions of the police as "murder and extra-judicial killings".

The police opened fire while trying to disperse a group of strikers encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 and wounding 78 on 16 August.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods. They went on strike on 10 August, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.

  • thembapat.mthini - 2012-10-23 23:11

    Who is representing the families of those workers who were killed on their way to work? They were bread winners as well.

      Steven Trollip - 2012-10-24 06:02

      i dont know

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-23 23:44

    Whether the e-mail evidence presented by Mpofu is genuine or not, he will not be allowed to continue. The terms of reference to the Commission excluded the Minister of Mineral Resources and the Minister of Police as involved parties. Those terms referred, in a feeble effort to deny cabinet responsibility. to "The Department of Mines" and "The Police."

  • renier.diedericks - 2012-10-24 06:28

    And everybody seems to "forget" that on that day the police was attacked, there was about 5000 people that stormed them from the top of that hill, shooting at them, with firearms stolen from the murdered police and security, but I guess that does not matter!!!!!

      tszigah - 2012-10-24 08:26

      Reiner it seems like you were watching only the tv and YouTube clips. Those 5000 people were just sitting on the mountain, and were attacked by Police amoured vehicles from behind the mountain of the clip that you saw. So the only direction that they could run to was direction of Police waiting to shoot... Think about that one, don't believe everything you see on tv

      dewalds3 - 2012-10-24 09:04

      tzigah - I agree, they were funnneled between the kraal-wall and the police vehicles and the police kept them going with teargas and by shooting between the vehocles - watch it on the clips. When they reached the end of the funnel a line of heavily armed policemen were witing for them - check the footage again..

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-24 06:56

    Right on, Cyril. Let's remember the miners had slaughtered 10 people brutally, what can be more criminal than that?

  • Neil Alberts - 2012-10-24 07:26

    mpofu and bizos are in this just for the money thats all! poor families my ass man! what about the innocent people killed by the strikers? what about those poor families? the people saw this opportunity to make money and milk the government! strikers should have been charged for the criminal acts they participated in!! waste of taxpayers money this

  • malose.mokgohloa - 2012-10-24 07:35

    The emails clearly reduces Cyril as a messenger ( stuurboy) of white capital, it's clear his direct intervention with Susan Shabangu is inappropriate and demonstrate toxic collusion between state & white capital against his former comrades who ensured his ascension to power.

      maredi.mello.75 - 2012-10-24 11:03

      No Malose, he the ANC's stuurboy, morwarre. They were fooled by NUM which told them that the problem was AMCU. they acrually went there with the intention to kill AMCU members.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-24 11:37

      Malose, surely Cyril has his own mind and brain to think ! Or has he not? Did his greed play a role in this ? Seems so ! Don't make excuses for him !

  • malose.mokgohloa - 2012-10-24 08:07

    The emails between Cyril Ramaphosa & his Lonmin Chairman reduces Cyril Ramaphosa as a mere messenger boy who must do the dirty job of lobbying his ANC comrades. It again demonstrate toxic relationship between white capital and state with Cyril at the heart of this toxic affair. As a former union leader who ascended to power thorough NUM this must feel like back stab to his former comrades. This might well be reason why companies are obsessed with granting free shares to politicians and not their workers.

      maredi.mello.75 - 2012-10-24 11:06

      Take the cobwebs off samma. the problem here is not white capital as you have bee brainwashed. The problem lies with lack of leadership in the government.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-10-24 11:41

      Malose as I said to you in a previous post, if Cyril didn't want to do this, he needn't have. He doesn't srike me as a mere messenger boy, he strikes me as a greedy man, like most of the corrupt officials in government and the Mines ! He also could have refused the shares - but did he ? No. So what's your problem ? Cyril's I know is greed, but you trying to protect this guy is pathetic really !!! He is a BIG BOY !!!

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-10-24 08:28

    When Juju brought that up people accused him of pushing his own agenda, he told us that Zuma's trust fund were benefitting from mines and now this?

  • philip.lynx.3 - 2012-10-24 08:39

    History is written after the fact, often by those who were not there.

  • tszigah - 2012-10-24 09:01

    I can just see what happened to Chris Hani out of all this situation... Just one email, one phone call, one SMS and the "criminal" or "rebel" or "revolutionary" is off the radar... Let's stop the act now, we know

      klasie.kitshoff - 2012-10-24 09:21

      makes you think, hey!

  • andy4real - 2012-10-24 09:29

    Dali Mpofu for President

  • jeli.bini - 2012-10-24 10:15

    the overiding obsession with the legal processes ignores the bigger context within which Marikana happened. SA mining industry is one of the largest and is a glaring example of social inequality that exists in the country. issues of equity, social justice precipitated this incident. burrying our heads into the sands of legal jargon whilst ignoring these will not help.

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