Ramaphosa: We are all responsible

2012-08-26 15:47

Johannesburg - Everyone involved in the build-up to the shooting in Lonmin's Marikana mine was responsible for the deaths of 34 mine workers, ANC national executive member Cyril Ramaphosa wrote in The Sunday Times.

"There are very few innocents in this tragic saga. Those who suffered the greatest loss - the wives, partners and children of those who died - bear the least responsibility for what happened," he said.

"For wherever we find ourselves we cannot escape the sense that, through our action or inaction, we bear some responsibility for the circumstances that made such a tragedy possible."

Ramaphosa said Lonmin [JSE:LON] management, its board and all of its stakeholders, the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association and Mineworkers and Construction Union, the police and the striking miners were all responsible for the shooting.

He said most mines were located in areas with poor infrastructure, weak governance and few basic services. This often led to the development of informal settlements.

"This points to a need for better development planning and greater co-operation between government and mining companies," he said.

"We need to think beyond the social and labour plans that mining companies develop. We must measure success not merely by regulatory compliance, but by the tangible differences we make in the lives of people in mining communities."

Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said last week that the miners were shot to protect Ramaphosa's shares in Lonmin.

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  • fussed.anderson - 2012-08-26 16:02

    You have had 7 days to think about what to say and do. The sap at the time had 3 seconds to react. To little to late to try and save your ass.

      kolobe.mzansi.9 - 2012-08-26 16:24

      this dude has become a sellout, he is in a better situation to address worker issues than unions

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-08-26 16:24

      3 seconds plus the knowledge that two of their colleagues had been hacked to death. I totally agree. The entire responsibility for this tragedy lays at the door of a useless Government and a total lack of leadership.

      modiri.molosiwa - 2012-08-26 17:06


      andrew.martin.71619533 - 2012-08-26 17:25

      it seems the very important point that the police were fired at first is not mentioned.....the video footage from AlJazeera is conveniently not aired/shown ??????

      christiaan.oosthuizen.568 - 2012-08-26 20:35

      And what about the Wabbit ? - 2012-08-27 00:36

      Yes, @larry, at a management level. But I want to place the blame at the feet of those who decided to call in the witch doctors. There seems to have been a plan to send people to their deaths.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-08-27 06:48

      A new story book,"onceapon a time there was a party called the anc....."

  • mmrwetyana - 2012-08-26 16:07

    There is no way that we are all responsible on this one They have the means and power to make changes to peoples lives and yet they are changing theirs only He is a disappointment for that statement This is not collective responsibility, it has everything to do with leadership responsibility and accountability Our government messed up big time Who the hell decided that armed police should go there They were not occupying anyones property or obstracting anyone

  • fussed.anderson - 2012-08-26 16:07

    I see you are talking as a ANC national executive member Cyril Ramaphosa? Not as a dirctor and a holder of shares in Lonmin

  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-08-26 16:10

    Dear Cyril, NOWHERE in this article do I see you blame the biggest culprit - THE ANC !!! Too busy pocketing blood money to care !!!

  • Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-08-26 16:13

    ...except for the police who were doing their job. Faced by madmen who took, in their own admission, a muti concoction to make them invincible in the face of 'enemy fire', the police had little option but to defend themselves in the most possible way. Maybe company bosses, like Ramaphosa, union leaders and our labour laws should share the blame.

      thami.manuel - 2012-08-26 21:48

      "except for the police who were doing their job". How was it doing their job opening fire with machine guns against 1 hand gun? What happened to riot control measures like high pressure water cannons and teargas? Those policemen are murders, they should rot in jail for what they did including whoever gave the command.

  • makenawn - 2012-08-26 16:21

    Cyril you were silent when ten people killed,what makes you to comment now boet,it is too late. The unions need to move away from this tradition of supporting the ruling party.This arrangement is the source of new unions all over.Cosatu need to be BOLD and tell the ruling party that "bon voyage" we are now concentrating on labour issues not politics. Not all members of unions support the ruling party

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-26 16:23

    How was the police responsible for the shooting? The usual spreading of the guilt and blame so it is so wide-spread and thinly applied that nobody takes or can be made to take responsibility. Some would call it collective responsibility. Even the medicine man may escape unscathed. It is like blaming everybody prior to WW2 for that war and including the soldiers who were really the most innocent of all. What kind of thinking is it? It is nonsense. We saw the visuals of what took place, and we know of the muti preparations and killings of the 10 including two police officers and two security officers. Is everybody also culpable for the deaths of the latters? Nobody in high office or position seem to have anything to say about who is responsible for the latters' murder. We also witnessed the vile attempts of the political parties to find that escape clause offered by the involvement of the police. Blame the foot soldiers! We, the general public, now know a lot more about the mentality among the politicians, even those under the DA umbrella.

  • marisa.cronje - 2012-08-26 16:25

    Black businessman and high-ranking ANC politician, Cyril Ramaphosa, apparently owns a contract to supply labour to the Lonmin mine at Marikana via his company Shanduka. “Ramaphosa and the NUM is practising a form of slave labour at the mine,” a source said at Marikana. “He is supplying labour at about R12 000 ($1500) per worker per month, but only pay his workers R4000 ($500) per month, thereby pocketing the difference. As a former NUM chief, he is able to control the union leaders and sees to it that he maintains this grotesque form of exploitation.”

      fussed.anderson - 2012-08-26 16:32

      Now we know where the R12000.00 +- R500.00 comes from

      marisa.cronje - 2012-08-26 16:52

      source is a bit dodge... but interesting.

      tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-08-27 09:34

      would make an interesting argument only if it was a fact but dont want to dispute nor consider it since i also dont have facts - but point taken

  • ntshembovernon.ndlhozi - 2012-08-26 16:34

    Who ever said "shoot to kill" a few years back should be blamed!!!!

  • Xolile.namane - 2012-08-26 17:00

    Am definitely not responsible,what cheek this man has? Hey Mr please blame your masters and stop involving everybody else!!!

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-26 17:01

    Count me out please I was not anywhere near.Unless if you mean that we stand accused for voting you and making you this powerful against us.

      david.lebethe - 2012-08-26 17:47

      @dnxumalo2 and Xolile.namane. You are so right - like a typical politician that he is, Ramophosa is acting true to form. The problem is between the emplolyer and the employee and as such cannot blame everybody. He, as a director of Lonmin, failed to attend to employees concerns and threfore cannot blame evrybody fo his failure. As for poor lving condition that mineworkers are exposed to, it a matter between him (as an employer) and the ruling party (that he is an executive member of) that they should be blamed for and be ashamed of after being in the helm of the government for the past 18 years. Num (a union that he was incidentally its General Secretary) is accused of colluding with management by striking mineworkers and are as such resigning from the union in droves. As such it is wrong for Ramophosa to locate the problem elsewhere - he and the ruling party are complicit in mineworkers loss of life.

  • KReddy - 2012-08-26 17:28

    Dear ANC, the cookie has crumbled.

  • aphiwe.mayola - 2012-08-26 17:32

    U more than most Mr Ramaphosa! U n ur croony friends n the greed u guys have. Sorry, am not responsible 4 jack! Sympathise with the famz still!

  • joubert.joep - 2012-08-26 17:53

    Maybe tou all are??

  • mike.clery - 2012-08-26 17:54

    "We are all responsible". No, "we" are NOT. The only people responsible are those who decided to use deadly violence as a means to get what they were demanding. Or is it now acceptable to murder and destroy when negotiations don't go your way?

  • deepchund.ramchurren - 2012-08-26 18:20

    Don't blame everybody. The Union management don't care a damn about their members.Mine management are only interested in their fat salaries,subsidised housing and annual holidays.The Police did what they had to do, don't blame the cops. OH,I TAKE IT THE SANGOMA THAT MADE THE STRIKERS INVINCIBLE ALSO SHOULDER BLAME. Cyril,you should ask the President to appoint you as the evidence leader at the judicial commission of inquiry.

  • danita.renecle - 2012-08-26 18:44

    I still think the mis and disinformation over the salaries of the Rock drillers appalling by our own journalists. Now at last we know that together with performance bonuses the average rock driller earns a gross salary of R11312.98 and the outstanding rock driller earns R17312.98. Go to Politicsweb for an official statement from Lonmin. My question what are the fat cat unions subtracting? Go to Politicsweb to see the official statement with the Lonmin letter head. NUM and COSATU have managed to become very big Business off the backs of union members. I would have liked to see Cosatu influence a Kibbutz style living for the families surrounding the area. So that the individual family units had something to contribute to their hard working men. Added to that they collectively could be involved with collective buying of groceries and supplies with massive discounts. Also I am glad to know these people work 6 hr shifts So Ramaphosa has made a mark. Anyhow if you read Reuters, platinum price has increased due to fear of no supply in the future which the other mines are cashing in on at the moment and not Lonmin. However, overall platinum demand is low therefore, retrenchments may be soon. The DA says long before the massacre that people at the bottom should be earning shares as well Google "Working for change, working for jobs" and check it out

      isaac.kgalake - 2012-08-26 19:40


  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-08-26 21:23

    Sincere comment from the GRAVY TRAIN.

  • Warren Wepener - 2012-08-26 21:40

    No Ramaphosa your ANC alliance are responsible don't look for excuses more people died in one day than in Syria which is in a revolution

  • aiazmir - 2012-08-26 22:04

    All the blame can be laid at the door of the ANC, including Mr Ramaphosa, for "inaction, poor infrastructure, weak governance and few basic services." Who besides the ANC has responsibility for these? Nice one Cyril. Sit back comfortably in your leather-backed chair that was delivered to you by the miners when you were chairman of the NUM, and reflect on the meaningless person you have become.

  • Warren Wepener - 2012-08-26 22:36 Here are Mr Ramaphosa on the Board of Directors

  • nananatakemehome - 2012-08-26 23:36

    Julius says Somebody is responsible, Everybody in position of leadership now says:, 'No!, why? Because, you see,'Everybody else is responsible, 'All of us in South Africa, are responsible!'But Nobody is man or woman enough to (wo)man up,either by commission or omission'. We hear that the police are not responsible, because apparently they 'acted in self-defense'. Zuma is not responsible because, you see he was luckily, 'out of the country' and came late at night. Num is not responsible, Lonmin management is not responsible because they were going to increase the pay on 1st October. How about blaming 'the falling price of Platinum' maybe? Or an 'act of God?' When last did you see a Cheque with my name from Anybody at Lonmin, or from NUM when they get their fat bribes and 'sweet-heart'"trade" "union" gift wraps and fat salary increases on the backs of the poor workers? Never! So, why throw aspersions my way and smudge my good name with a bloodied whisk from the splattered blood of miners killed in cold blood in broad daylight while the world looked? I will tell you who is responsible, The ANC fat-cats and their Compradore Capitalist elite gorged and bloated on BEE transactions that were supposed to benefit Everybody, along with their private army SAP force together with their Lonmin Master, and together with the stooges Shabangu and Mthetwa, including Zuma as head of State, they alone are RESPONSIBLE for this mess. They need to shut up and sort it out! Enough

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-08-26 23:52

    What....? Safety in Numbers now? The 'buck' always stops with someONE.

  • motho.batho.98 - 2012-08-27 00:28

    No Ramaphosa, don't shift the blame to some else, if you had interest of wokers at heart, you would have listened to their plight probably met them half way. But because you are greedy and self-centred, their plight was not worth listening to. Now, you are trying to full the public and trying to be a humble and responsible somebody while in reality you are not.

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2012-08-27 07:02

    No the ANC is responisble that doesn't include all of us - far from it!!

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-08-27 08:37

    Words,words, words, this country has been run on words. Perhaps the masses should show their discontent on gentlemen like Ramaphosa by boycotting one of his latest business: McDonald's South Africa. Cheers.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-08-27 09:33

    It so funny that he now wants to shift the blame and include everyone,when the mine was doing well they 1st ignored the poor conditions that the workers lived in (if you saw those shacks on TV),when the allegedly tension between the two unions, no one paid attention to that matter and now the killings and he wants everyone to come on board and support them-never.They were happy running to the bank with all the profit and now that things are turning sour everyone has to take the blame? .....typical management style-when the organisation is doing well they pocket all the profit but when thigns turns sour 1st one to suffer are the workers.My take is No,Cyril you are on your own chief.

  • sanda.mnyazi - 2012-08-27 09:33

    I was in Cape Town when that happened Cyril, how was i responsible?

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-08-27 15:22

      I was in Russia, St Petersburg at the time of the shooting. Sorry Cyril, I hope you can accept my apology for being responsible.....disaster

  • peter.estrange - 2012-08-27 16:50

    I believe that the miners opted for living where they are.We only hear about the 34 - what about the 10 including 2 policemen who were hacked to death. This must have affected the minds of those policemen facing 3000 worked up, armed people (miners?) Kill or be killed. It doesn't make acceptable though. More use of water cannons could have been useful in sending the most ardent demonstrators home shivering in the cold.

  • ike.jakson - 2012-09-12 03:33

    Oh no Cyril, You have it all wrong; yes I know and agree that you are responsible, but leave me out of it. It is time you and Zuma show some guts to put Malema on a one way air ticket to China and ask the Chinese to inculcate in him the reality of life and good behaviour, The Chinese Government knows how to teach people like that and won’t worry about the South African Voters in doing so.

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