THE Congress of the People Youth Movement is shocked at the revelation at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that ANC NEC member and Lonmin board member Cyril Ramaphosa had a direct influence on the events that led to the murder of 34 miners.
Ramaphosa, the former NUM general secretary and one of the South Africa's wealthiest men, was shown to be a ruthless, coldhearted businessman.
In his e-mails to Lonmin management before the August 16 disaster, he wrote: "The terrible events that have unfolded cannot be described as a labour dispute. They are plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such. There needs to be concomitant action to address this situation."
While this shows his intentions and thoughts on the striking ex-NUM members, it also shows his cold-heartedness.
The e-mails also describe the relationship and the bond between the business and the top ANC members, and why the members were needed and used by the businesses, to gain influence and privileges in order to sway the government and ANC policies to favour them. In his response to the Lonmin management Ramaphosa wrote, "You are absolutely correct in insisting that the minister [Susan Shabangu] and indeed all government officials need to understand that we are essentially dealing with a criminal act. I have said as much to the minister of safety and security."
These e-mails show the influence Ramaphosa has in Lonmin and the ANC, while playing a huge role in NUM where he can tell them to jump and how high.
His meeting with NUM president Senzeni Zokwana and his proposal to meet ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to discuss finding ways to stop the strike shows how much influence the businessman has and what he thought of the strikers.
He has clearly shown he has joined forces with the employers in oppressing the workers. He failed to understand the workers were tired of being misled and exploited by NUM and the Lonmin management.
It is appalling that the ANC, NUM and Ramaphosa himself would actually betray the very same people they claim to represent while they were selling the souls of workers to greedy businesses in exchange for more wealth. It is evident that companies appoint senior ANC cadres to board positions as a ploy to use them and corrupt them to have protection from the government.
The Marikana tragedy has shown the dismal failure of the ANC's application of cadre deployment and the party-state relationship, and how easily the state can be influenced and swayed by its members who could be corrupted and used by companies such as Lonmin.
COPE continues to maintain:
- There must be a separation of party and state as per our policy discussions;
- The current political, economical and socio-economical conditions be seriously addressed to get back on the path to meet the Millennium Development Goals and reduce job losses;
- Demilitarise the police as per the constitution;
- Respect the sovereignty of the South African people and workers.
The events leading to the murder of 34 miners and injury of many others were a result of manipulation, greed and total lack of respect for a worker's life in South Africa by big foreign and local businessmen and companies like Ramaphosa and Lonmin. The ANC and government, especially the police force, NUM and the Lonmin management must be held responsible for the murder of the miners in Marikana on August 16.
Bongani Mahlangu, COPE Youth Movement