Official Visit To Marikana Widows: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was taken to task by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on his Marikana apology on Thursday.
Ramaphosa was in Parliament today to answer questions from Members of Parliament. And as expected, the EFF utilized the opportunity to cause a mild drama on Ramaphosa’s long overdue apology.
At first, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu was shut down by an ANC MP after he insisted that the ruling party was responsible for the killings.
The point of order was re-echoed by National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, who later said she needs to consult the Hansard first.
Turning to Ramaphosa, Shivambu asked him to explain to the house why he apologized and who he apologized to for the Marikana massacre.
In response, the deputy president buttressed that he tendered his apology to Marikana families and community because of his inappropriate language – which triggered more deaths.
He added: “What did I apologize for? I apologized for inappropriate and unfortunate language. The intervention I was seeking was to try and stop further killings. For me, this was sparked off by the killing of the 10 people who had died earlier.
The killing had happened in the cruelest manner. Some were police, and many were miners. I have been in mine for nine years when I was asked to form a union even though I was not a miner.”
Ramaphosa reiterated that it was never his intention to kill the miners, promising to approach Winne Mandela on the matter.
Mama Winnie Mandela had publicly promised to take Ramaphosa to Marikana to see the families of the 44 miners that were killed.
He added that some clergymen had already indicated interest to accompany him on the crucial visit. The reverends reportedly made known their intention on Sunday when Ramaphosa first apologized publicly in Eastern Cape.
As the deputy president was speaking, some members of the ANC were spotted encouraging him with a clapping ovation.
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Ramaphosa brought his answers to a conclusion by reiterating his readiness to confront his mistakes.
‘Concomitant action’ were the word Ramaphosa ‘mistakenly’ used that propelled the police to ‘clear’ the miners at Marikana.
To date, the pathetic killings have been frequently likened to the 1960 Sharpeville massacre and the man at the center of it is someone warming up to contest for the headship of the country.