The EFF leader took to Twitter on Thursday to speak out against what he termed “the butchering of defenceless workers” by the ANC government.
Remember the butchering of defenceless workers by the @MYANC government at Marikana on this day. Let’s call it by a rightful name #MarikanaMassacre, proudly brought to you by @CyrilRamaphosa. pic.twitter.com/f0AujbLmZc
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 16, 2018
August 16, 2018, marks the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that saw 34 mineworkers’ lives taken by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Malema also didn’t miss an opportunity to take Cyril Ramaphosa to task for his role in the tragedy. He said the tragedy of August 16 should be remembered by its “rightful name”, the Marikana Massacre, and added the event was “proudly brought to you by Cyril Ramaphosa”.
Ramaphosa was nonexecutive director at Lonmin’s platinum mines at the time of a protracted strike, and wrote a series of emails in which he called for stronger action to bring it to an end.
On the eve of the shooting, Ramaphosa said in an email discussion between Lonmin and government officials that incidents of violence around the strike were “plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.
He later sought to qualify that by saying that at the time of writing, 10 people had already been killed and he was trying to prevent further bloodshed.
Malema was not the only opposition leaders to take the president to task over Marikana.
Mmusi Maimane issued a statement on Wednesday calling on Ramaphosa to declare an official Marikana memorial day, adding if he didn’t, it would prove his claims in a speech in February that he had committed to “play whatever role” he could to “make good” on bringing about closure and making up for his role in the tragedy to be nothing more than hot air.
Maimane in his statement challenged the president to do better, when it comes to acknowledging the tragedy, than former president Jacob Zuma, who he said he made similar calls to, but they “fell on deaf ears”.
He also said Ramaphosa declaring the memorial day would show that he took his administrations touting of a “New Dawn” seriously.