Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on Monday challenged the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to issue a certificate of non-prosecution so that the Red Berets can pursue the private prosecution of President Cyril Ramaphosa for the Marikana massacre.
This is despite the Marikana Commission of Inquiry (chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam) into the deaths of 34 striking miners at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana finding no credible evidence that Ramaphosa was behind the killings.
Speaking on Monday at a virtual event to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the massacre, Malema lashed out at the NPA and South African Police Service (Saps) for the lack of progress in arresting those responsible for the deaths of the miners on 16 August 2012.
Malema said if the NPA did not issue the certificate in the next three months, they would take the organization to court to compel it to prosecute Ramaphosa or allow the EFF to pursue the route of private prosecution.
“We call on the NPA to prosecute Ramaphosa and if they’re not going to prosecute Ramaphosa, they must issue a non-prosecuting letter.
“As the EFF, we want to prosecute Ramaphosa through private prosecution,” he said.
The EFF leader said in 2012, his party had laid criminal complaints against the police, Ramaphosa, and former ministers at the Marikana police station for their alleged culpability regarding the murders of mineworkers at Lonmin.
Malema said since then, not a single police officer or politicians had been held accountable.
“It’s nine years since we opened the case [and] I opened the case myself. No policeman has ever contacted me and no prosecutor has ever contacted me, which is very clear that they’re covering up for each other,” Malema said.
‘We never saw criminals’
Malema said the Marikana massacre was “necessitated by the greediness” of Ramaphosa, who had now been elevated to the “highest office” in the country.
“To us, we never saw criminals. We saw hard-working workers who were demanding R12,500 to go and feed their children…The Farlam commission came and people spoke and contradicted each other.
“To date, no one has been arrested. No one has been fired on the basis of wrongdoing in Marikana,” he said.
It was revealed during the proceedings of the commission that the day before the 16 August shooting, Ramaphosa in an e-mail correspondence with Lonmin executives called for “concomitant action” to address the situation at the mine.
Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time.
He told the commission his email was intended to prevent further violence in Marikana due to the deaths of 10 people in the days leading up to the massacre.
Final report findings
In his final report, judge Farlam found there was no prima facie evidence to make the case that Ramaphosa was complicit for the deaths.
The report stated: “The commission is of the view that it cannot be said that Mr Ramaphosa was the cause of the massacre… [the] objective evidence shows Mr Ramaphosa was not aware of the decision on Wednesday August 15 to move to the tactical option.”
In 2017, the president apologized for the events that unfolded at Marikana and the type of language he used in his e-mail correspondence.
Aside from calling for the prosecution of Ramaphosa and others, the EFF also demanded reparations for all the mineworkers who were killed in Marikana, as well as their families and children.
The party said it would engage with the legal representatives of the widows of Marikana to persuade them to prioritize the case for reparations.
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