ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS’ STATEMENT ON MARIKANA COMMISSION REPORT
02 July 2015
The Economic Freedom Fighters notes the release of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on the massacre of Mineworkers by the ANC Government in Marikana on the 16th of August 2012. It should be stated from the beginning that as this generation of Economic Freedom Fighters, we are never using the massacre of Marikana mineworkers as a matter of political football, in the same way the ruling party and right wing political parties are doing.
Long before Marikana massacre happened, and even before the Economic Freedom Fighters assumed an independent and revolutionary organisational form, the core of the EFF leadership was at the forefront of struggles of Mineworkers in the whole country, including in the Platinum Belt. That is why prior to the massacre of workers by the ANC, workers in Marikana called upon us to come and assist them in the same way we had assisted workers in Impala Platinum Mines, Aurora, Goldfields in the Westrand, Platinum mineworkers in Sekhukhune, asbestos ex-Mineworkers in Kuruman and in the Eastern Cape. And many other areas where we provided leadership.
Of all political parties that have spoken thus far, the EFF is the only one that can legitimately speak on behalf of the Mineworkers. We therefore wish to make summary observations of the report of Judge Farlam and speak to the way forward on What is to be Done?
Overall, the EFF’s closer reading of the report reveal the following facts:
1) Although the Commission obscures the question of premeditated mass murder, the events recounted in the Marikana Commission Report on activities of the 14th, 15th and 16th of August 2012 reveal vividly that the massacre of Mineworkers in Marikana was premeditated mass murder of workers on both Scene 1 and Scene 2. Worse in the case of Scene 2, the actions of the police represented barbaric criminality reminiscent of apartheid butcherers who killed defenceless people even when they were surrendering and were not posing any danger. In the words of Nkosikhona Mjuba, a Mineworker in Marikana who was scene 2, “The police officers started shooting the mineworkers with long and short firearms. Some mineworkers put their hands [in the] air to show they weren’t fighting/attacking the police officers but they were shot.”
2) The Commission report confirms that Police General Mbombo spoke about blood spilling, referred to the 16th of August 2012 the D-Day and even organised Mortuary vehicles prior to the premeditated mass murder of mineworkers. The very fact that the Tactical Response Team (TRT) of the SAPS was deployed to Marikana with live ammunition rounds is evidence enough that the intention and plan was to shoot to kill. Judging by the speeches of Police Commissioner Phiyega and Minister of Police after the premediated killing of workers (addendum below), they certainly were aware of and approved of the mass killing of workers.
3) What this means is that the ANC Government with the influence of business politicians, in particular Cyril Ramaphosa, premeditated the killing of Mineworkers in Marikana on the 16th of August 2012. They engaged in what in Law is known as Conspiracy to commit murder.
4) There rush to end the protest by Mineworkers was largely informed by political considerations, particularly the political fear that the Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters was going to lead a process which would have amicably resolved and defused the stalemate between Mineworkers and the Management of Lonmin in a similar way he had done in Impala Platinum Mines strikes of Rock Drill Operatives, where the intervention of the CiC led to the reinstatement of 29 000 dismissed workers in February and March 2012. This fact is confirmed by second part of CHAPTER 9 C (6) of the Marikana Commission Report, which says,
“Lieutenant General Mbombo referred to the fact that Mr Ramaphosa had presided over the hearing of the appeal brought by Mr Julius Malema against the decision of the African National Congress to expel him from the party and that Mr Ramaphosa was, as she put it, “very strong in terms of the decision made‟. She went on to mention that Mr Malema had intervened in the dispute at Impala and that the police had been able to manage the situation there after his visit. She stated that in her discussions with the National Commissioner they had been concerned about the fact that if once again it came across that Mr Malema had defused the situation it would seem as if he has taken charge of the mines. She added that because of Mr Malema’s known position that the mines should be nationalised it had “a serious political connotation‟ that had to be taken into account and which they needed to find a way of defusing. She said that she had told her people that they needed to act in such a way that they “killed this thing‟. Mr Mokwena agreed with this statement and said, Immediately, yes‟ (page 163 – 164).
5) Mr. Cyril “Workers Murderer” Ramaphosa played a central role in influencing the police to take concomitant action against workers he had described as “criminals” in the email he sent to the Lonmin Management. This further confirmed by the first part of CHAPTER 9 C (6) Commission report which says,
a. “Lieutenant General Mbombo also mentioned that when she spoke to the Minister of Police, Mr Mthethwa, he had said that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa was calling him and pressurising him. In this regard she said that the National Commissioner had asked her the previous evening who the shareholders were and that she had replied that she did not know but that the Minister had mentioned Mr Ramaphosa, whereupon the National Commissioner had said that she “got it‟. (page 163).
b. CHAPTER 9 C (8) The Commission agrees with the following submissions made by the evidence leaders in this regard „…She was unable to provide a coherent and compelling explanation for the sentiments she expressed and testified under cross-examination that: The call from Mr Ramaphosa to the Minister did not influence her decision-making in respect of Marikana. She testified that any citizen is entitled to phone the police for assistance. We submit that this explanation is unconvincing to say the least. From JJJ192 bis it is evident that Gen Mbombo was at pains to convey to Mr Mokwena that the person who telephoned the Minister was politically influential. Under cross-examination she was unable to explain why she did [say] this if it was an irrelevant fact” (page 166).
6) Furthermore, the Commission accepts the following facts about General Mbombo as presented by the Evidence Leaders:
We submit that exhibit JJJ192bis clearly shows that Lt Gen Mbombo took into account irrelevant political considerations in approaching the situation at Marikana:
543.1 She did not want mining companies to be seen to be supporting AMCU;
3. She did not want mining companies to undermine NUM;
543.3 She was responding to what she perceived as pressure from Mr Cyril Ramaphosa whom she considered to be politically influential;
543.4 She wanted to end the violence before Mr Julius Malema arrived in Marikana and was given credit for defusing the situation” (page 167
7) The Commission furthers says that it is in full agreement with the submissions of Evidence Leaders in CHAPTER 9 C (10) that “on the evidence, the Commission [should] make a finding that Gen Phiyega was complicit in engaging in discussions where political factors were inappropriately considered and discussed in relation to policing the situation at Marikana. This is inconsistent with our constitutional and statutory regime which requires that policing be conducted in an impartial and unbiased manner” (page 169).
It should be noted that part of the political considerations which the Police considered were the recurrent calls by the politician, who held private interests in Lonmin, Mr. Cyril “workers murderer” Ramaphosa and the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa.
It is therefore unthinkable that after all these findings and revelations, the Commission went to exonerate Mr. Cyril “Workers Murderer” from the fact that he influenced Police to take murderous actions against workers in Marikana, because he had already labelled them as criminals.
As stated in the summarised version of Zuma’s statement, “The Commission has found that Lonmin did not use its best endeavours to resolve the disputes that arose between itself and its workers who participated in the unprotected strike on the one hand and between the strikers and those workers who did not participate in the strike. It also did not respond appropriately to the threat of‚ and the outbreak of violence.
Lonmin also failed to employ sufficient safeguards and measures to ensure the safety of its employees.
Lonmin also insisted that its employees who were not striking should come to work‚ despite the fact that it knew that it was not in a position to protect them from attacks by strikers”.
Furthermore, Lonmin is involved in prima facie practices of aggressive tax avoidance. The Commission revealed the fact that during the period of workers’ strikes for the R12500, Lonmin had dubiously and criminally shifted R1.2 billion to a shelf company in Bermuda, whilst the cost of housing 5500 of its employees would have cost R665 million.
Lonmin is also found to have not implemented its Social Labour Plan as is required by Law. This happened when the Chairperson of Lonmin’s Transformation Committee was its non-executive Director, Cyril Ramaphosa.
The EFF rejects the finding that workers carrying traditional weapons is a criminal offence, which had to be responded to in the manner the police did. Everywhere in South Africa, and many South Africans who practice traditions, carry traditional weapons and there is nothing wrong with that. This is further explained by the fact that it was only after Marikana massacre, where the Minister of Police tried to outlaw the carrying of traditional weapons by striking workers.
The EFF further rejects a recommendation that workers should be charged for activities of the 16th of August 2012. All credible evidence and video footage points to the open reality that workers posed no danger to the police. The Police killed the workers because they went to the Koppie with the intention to kill workers.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
Whilst the Commission of Inquiry had the power and mandate to recommend further actions and prosecutions in certain cases, the EFF believes that the actions of Cyril Ramaphosa and Nathi Mthethwa had a causal effect on the ultimate decision to plan the mass killings of workers in Marikana. Conspiracy to commit murder is a criminal offence in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, and it should be taken up by the Criminal Procedure process.
In this regard, the EFF will do the following:
1)Lay criminal charges against Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa on the prima facie case of him conspiring to commit murder of workers.
2) Lay criminal charges against Mr. Nathi Mthethwa for conspiring to commit murder of workers in Marikana and celebrating the massacre on behalf of government after the killing.
3) Lay criminal charges against all the Directors of Lonmin plc for conspiring to kill workers, not protecting them, and claiming that they could not afford salaries demanded, whilst they were in fact engaged in criminal forms of tax avoidance.
4) Lay criminal charges against Mbombo for instructing the TRT to kill workers.
5) Lay criminal charges against Phiyega for conspiring to kill workers and instructing the TRT to kill workers.
6) Institute a process of reparations against Lonmin to demand reparations and payments of all the families of deceased Mineworkers of R10 million per family and R5 million per injured worker.
7) Report Lonmin to the South African Revenue Services for all cases of aggressive tax avoidance that stole potential money for workers and for the State as is required by Law.
The EFF will visit the Marikana police station on Friday, the 3rd of July 2015 to open the police cases. The EFF will also use this opportunity to ask about the police case Numbers 167/08/2012 and 168/08/2012 which we opened against the police who killed Mineworkers in Marikana in 2012.
The EFF will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all who conspired to kill mineworkers are brought to book and will even consider options of private prosecutions if the NDPP Political appointments refuse to pursue the cases we are going to open.
Politically, the EFF will use all its available platforms to expose the murderous regime of the ANC, and will mobilise, educate and agitate the whole of South African society and the world to see the hypocrisy of the ANC government. We will fight with everything in our power to expose the callous, oppressive, repressive, murderous nature of the siting government.
We do all these because we want to protect the Constitutional right of workers to protest. We also do all of these because we want to nip in the bud the entitlement of politicians to kill their own citizens and justify such through whitewash Commission reports.
The callous premeditated murder and massacre of mineworkers should never be let to go through without anyone being held responsible. The EFF will fight in all platforms to hold the Murderers and Conspirators of murder are held accountable in totality. We will never stop until justice is realised.
We call on South Africans to note the speeches given by Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on the aftermath of the massacre of Mineworkers. These speeches have never been withdrawn by the Police and Government, and reflect the true sentiment of the police and South African government on the killing of Mineworkers.
Phiyega’s speech after the massacre went as follows:
“I come before you to actually say, trying as it may be, mourning as we are, let us take note of the fact that whatever happened represents the best of responsible policing. You did what you did, because you were being responsible, you were making sure that you continued to live your oath of ensuring that South Africans are safe, and that you equally are a citizen of this country and safety starts with you. (page 388).
Nathi Mthethwa’s speech after the massacre went as follows:
“You must know that as your Minister and on behalf of the Government, the Executive as a whole, on behalf of the President of the Republic, Commander in Chief of all the armed forces in this country, we are all behind you. We know what we have gone through this period, this week and we would want you to continue ensuring that lives are saved, property is protected against anybody who would want to do bad things in this country.… There will be criticism [inaudible – of lives?] lost but here as your leadership we are confident that what you have done you did it in trying to ensure that the rule of law reigns in South Africa. We are not going to allow anybody to run amok in the country, to want to turn South Africa into a banana republic. It would be painful and it is painful that in the process life is lost but we are a professional force and we must keep to that. We must ensure that at all times we do everything in our power so that anarchists do not think that SA is their stage. From the bottom of my heart as your Minister, I want to thank you on behalf of our government. I want to thank you and commend what you are doing. Continue to protect your country. Continue to protect the citizens of South Africa. It is your duty. It is your constitutional obligation. And I thank you.‟ (page 389 to 390).
Issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, July 2 2015