Expatica news

S.African opposition target Ramaphosa over mining massacre

South Africa’s leftist opposition leader Julius Malema said Thursday he would press for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to face murder charges over the 2012 Marikana massacre of 34 striking miners.

A judiciary inquiry into the killings last week exonerated Ramaphosa, who was then a non-executive director and shareholder at Lonmin, the owner of the platinum mine.

But Malema said his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party “will lay criminal charges against Mr Cyril Ramaphosa on the prima facie case of him conspiring to commit murder of workers”.

The inquiry heard that Ramaphosa, who was then not in government, contacted ministers ahead of the killings to push for decisive police intervention to end the strike.

It concluded that accusations that Ramaphosa was partially responsible for the deaths were “groundless” — triggering fury from critics who said the inquiry was a whitewash.

“The EFF believes that the actions of Cyril Ramaphosa and (then police minister) Nathi Mthethwa had a causal effect on the ultimate decision to plan the mass killings,” said Malema.

Malema is due to open criminal cases against Ramaphosa, former ministers and the police chief at Marikana police station on Friday.

“The EFF will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all who conspired to kill mineworkers are brought to book,” he told a news conference.

The Marikana massacre was one of the most explosive events since the end of apartheid rule in South Africa, badly damaging the country’s international reputation.

The presidency reacted to Malema’s latest legal move by saying the inquiry had cleared Ramaphosa.