JOHANNESBURG. — Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) has called on families of the deceased Marikana miners not to allow Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to “use this shameful, regrettable and painful matter for his presidential ambitions”.
Ramaphosa apologised on Sunday for the manner in which the Marikana massacre unfolded, saying he was sorry for the type of language he used at the time.
Azapo said it noted Ramaphosa’s apology with “dismay”. “We reject this apology,” Azapo leader Amukelani Ngobeni said, adding that 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,” said Ngobeni.
Speaking at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Ramaphosa told students that he had intervened in the Lonmin Mine strike in Marikana to prevent further deaths. On the eve of the Marikana shooting, Ramaphosa allegedly said in an email discussion between Lonmin management and government officials that events around the strike “are plainly dastardly criminal acts and must be characterised as such”.
He also allegedly called for “concomitant action” against the strikers.
He said at the time he stepped into the situation, 10 workers had been killed and his intervention was to “say there is a disaster looming, more workers had been killed and are going to be killed”.
“I have apologised and I do apologise that I did not use appropriate language but I never had the intention to have 34 other mine workers killed.”
Azapo also criticised Ramaphosa for saying he will not support land redistribution as long as he is not convinced that there is enough production from black-owned farms.
“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,” he said. — News24.