South Africa 3.7.2015 11:56 am

EFF gather in Marikana ahead of Malema’s arrival

EFF supporters buying branded clothing outside the Marikana police station. Picture: Michel Bega

EFF supporters buying branded clothing outside the Marikana police station. Picture: Michel Bega

Economic Freedom fighters (EFF) members gathered outside the Marikana police station on Friday morning and waited for their leadership to open a criminal case against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

EFF leader Julius Malema announced on Thursday his party would also press the same charges against Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and all the Lonmin mine directors over their alleged involvement in the Marikana massacre.

Mthethwa was a police minister when police shot dead 34 miners and wounded 78 others during a wage strike outside Lonmin mine in Marikana on august 16, 2012.

A group of EFF members sang danced inside the police station near the entrance at about 11am, while another group arrived in a bakkie chanting: “Pay back the money.” Other people were selling EFF paraphernalia outside the station.

Speaking outside the station, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said Malema and other national leaders would arrive in a short while.

“We are waiting for him (Malema). He will be joined by the local leadership and other members of the central command team and walk into the police station to open the cases,” said Gardee.

A man who is a mine worker walked past the police station but appeared to be oblivious to what the gathering was all about.

“I am from work and I am going to buy food at the shops. I don’t know anything about the party opening a case here,” he said when asked to comment.

President Jacob Zuma released the Marikana report last Thursday, which exonerated Ramaphosa and Mthethwa of any wrongdoing.

However, Malema insisted that Ramaphosa “played an influential role” in the massacre by conspiring to commit murders of the workers. He said police investigators should look into Ramaphosa’s phone and e-mail records he transacted on the day of the incident.

“We are convinced there is dangerous information hidden in Cyril’s electronics,” said Malema at a media briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Reading the summary of the report, Zuma said Farlam Commission had found that it could not say Ramaphosa was the cause of the massacre and that the accusations against him were groundless.

Ramaphosa was a shareholder at Lonmin at the time of the massacre.

Prior to the massacre, Ramaphosa reportedly criticised strikes as criminal and urged “concomitant action” to address the situation in an e-mail he sent to Lonmin’s chief commercial officer.

The email was released to the Farlam Commission by advocate Dali Mpofu, who represented the miners who were injured and arrested in Marikana.

-warren@citizen.co.za

 

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