The Presidency has welcomed the recent court judgment clearing President Cyril Ramaphosa of any legal duty in the 2012 Marikana massacre.
However, it said on Tuesday that it was disturbed by the politicisation of the event, which has led to the unfair targeting and isolated allocation of responsibility to Ramaphosa.
Thirty-four mineworkers were shot by the South African police on August 16, 2012, with another 78 miners wounded and 275 arrested. Ten people, including six mineworkers, two Lonmin security officers and two policemen, were killed in the days leading up to the August 16 massacre.
The Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said others have sought to create the false impression that Ramaphosa bears liability for the killings.
In its judgment in the Sivuka V Ramaphosa case, the High Court agreed with Ramaphosa that the 359 miners who brought the case against the President and Sibanye had not established that Ramaphosa bore any legal duty in relation to the events that unfolded.
“The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that certain email communications from Ramaphosa sought to call for the murder of the striking workers. The judgment stated that the plaintiffs’ argument against Ramaphosa ‘is not only far-fetched but also irreconcilable within the context of the email communication contents as a whole’,” Magwenya said.
The High Court also agreed with Ramaphosa that there was no basis for the allegation that collusion between him, government and police led to the deaths of the workers.
“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. Ten 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,“ Ramaphosa said.