The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) has rejected deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Marikana apology on the manner the massacre unfolded.
The organization, in a statement issued on Monday, advised members of the victims’ families not to listen to Ramaphosa nor allow him to use the Marikana matter as a key point for his presidential bid.
Azapo leader Amukelani Ngobeni noted with dismay that Ramaphosa didn’t issue the statement genuinely. Hence, it must be rejected.
Ngobeni asserted that the spirit of the miners will continue to haunt the deputy president whether he apologized or not and whether he finally wins the presidential election or not.
“We reject this apology. it did not have to take so many years for Ramaphosa to come to his senses. He is not genuine in his apology and it must be rejected. Ramaphosa must be reminded that whether he becomes President or not, the spirit of the miners shall forever haunt him,” the leader added.
On land redistribution, which formed part of Ramaphosa’s speech Rhodes University in Grahamstown, on Sunday, the Azapo criticized Ramaphosa for saying he will not support land redistribution as long as black-owned farms have not been making enough production.
“We understand that this is an ANC position for years. Azapo however, wants to remind Cyril and his party that the land black people are requesting is their land. It doesn’t matter whether blacks can work the land or not, it is their land stolen from them and they want it back. It is none of Cyril’s business what our people want to do with the land. It’s theirs, they just want it back. Period,” the organization said.
On Sunday, Ramaphosa publicly apologized for his language and involvement in Marikana massacre.
On the eve of the massacre, an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials showed that Ramaphosa classified events around the strike ‘as plainly dastardly criminal acts’ and encouraged them to classify the strike as ‘such’.
He subsequently called for ‘concomitant action’ against the strikers which intensified actions against the harmless workers.
In his speech at Rhodes University, he admitted that it was never his intention to kill 34 miners, pleading with everyone to forgive him.
It’s been four-and-a-half years since 34 South African mine workers were killed. The massacre happened on 16 August 2012.
Those who embarked on the strike were people who tried to ask for better lives. But events took a different path, leading to their deaths by a state that is meant to protect them.