Talks ongoing for Ramaphosa to visit Marikana – Cosatu

Talks ongoing for Ramaphosa to visit Marikana – Cosatu

The rocky outcrop at Marikana where 34 miners were gunned down by police in August 2012. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu / African News Agency (ANA)

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape in 2017, Ramaphosa indicated his desire to visit the mining town, where 34 people died.

Trade union federation Cosatu is engaging with the Office of the President for President Cyril Ramaphosa to visit Marikana in October, its deputy general-secretary, Solly Phetoe, said.

Phetoe added a workers rally with all its affiliated unions was planned for October.

During a media briefing at its headquarters in Johannesburg, Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said a meeting to discuss the logistics of the president’s meetings, which was meant to take place on Thursday, had been postponed.

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape in 2017, Ramaphosa indicated his desire to visit the mining town, where 34 people died.

Speaking to Rhodes University students during the rally, the president apologised for the manner in which the Marikana massacre unfolded, saying he was sorry for the type of language he had used at the time.

Ramaphosa told students he had intervened in the Lonmin mine strike in Marikana to prevent further deaths.

On the eve of the Marikana massacre, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an e-mail discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.

Ramaphosa was responding in a question and answer session with students where one student asked him to address the Marikana massacre.

“You say you want to appeal to my conscience,” Ramaphosa said.

“My conscience is that I participated in trying to stop further deaths from happening.”

Losi denied Ramaphosa had been directly involved with the killings, saying the Farlam commission of inquiry into the killings had exonerated him.

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