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President Ramaphosa welcomes the judgement in the matter of Sivuka V Ramaphosa, delivered by the high court on 1 July 2022.
The tragic events of August 2012 in Marikana that led to the death of 44 people remain one of the most distressing moments of the post democratic era and a blight in South Africa’s contemporary history that will be forever etched in our hearts and minds.
10 years later our hearts still go out to families who lost their loved ones. The violence and the killings that occurred should have never happened. We are still resolute and united in our condemnation of the brutal acts we witnessed.
Disturbingly, is the ongoing politicisation of this tragedy leading to the unfair targeting and isolated allocation of responsibility to the President. Others have sought to create a false impression that President Ramaphosa bears liability for the killings.
In having applied his mind to the judgement in the matter of Sivuka V Ramaphosa, delivered by the High Court on 1 July 2022, President Ramaphosa welcomes the judgement of the High Court, which held that the plaintiff’s particulars of claim were legally flawed in a series of respects.
Four aspects of the High Court judgement need to be emphasised.
First, the High Court agreed with the President’s arguments and held that the plaintiffs had not established that the President bore any legal duty in relation to the Marikana tragedy. Furthermore, the court made no finding that the President was in fact the cause of harmful conduct. The proceedings were not a trial, and no evidence was led. The Court was merely engaged in a legal debate regarding whether the plaintiffs’ allegations complied with the law.
Second, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that certain email communications from President Ramaphosa sought to call for the murder of the striking workers. The judgement stated that the plaintiffs’ argument against the President “is not only far-fetched but also irreconcilable within the context of the email communication contents as a whole….”
Third, the High Court agreed with the President that there was no factual basis pleaded for the allegation that collusion between the President, the Government and the senior police would have led to deaths of workers.
Fourth, on the allegations that the President Ramaphosa owed a duty of care to the plaintiffs due to his role as director of Lonmin, the High Court agreed with the President that the allegation was incorrect as a matter of law. In the judgment the court said, “… The allegations pleaded do not show that the first defendant owed the plaintiffs legal duties, and he therefore cannot in law incur liability to the plaintiffs in delict in his capacity as director of Lonmin, or ‘in pursuit of his personal interests and those of Lonmin’.”
Issued by The Presidency