Mpofu asked me to pull strings - Ramaphosa

Pretoria - Dali Mpofu asked Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene and help him advance his career, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

"You came to me here yesterday [Monday] and said 'I have been trying to be certified as senior counsel. Is there anything you can do for me?'," Ramaphosa told the commission's public hearings in Pretoria.

Mpofu, who represents wounded and arrested miners at Marikana in August 2012, interrupted: "No, that is untrue. You can't come here and make up stories. Tell the story as it happened, Mr Ramaphosa."

Commission chairperson retired Judge Ian Farlam intervened, allowing Ramaphosa to continue.

"Mr Mpofu and I had a fairly friendly discussion here yesterday. I asked him 'are you now senior counsel?'. He said 'Yes, I am supposed to be senior counsel but what is left is for the president to sign the certificate'. He said 'is there anything you can do for me?'.

"I raised the issue of a conflict of interests with him. I said even if I know that he is opposed to me, he is on another side of the political divide. There is no conflict of interest there, nothing fraudulent or criminal about it," said Ramaphosa.

Mpofu repeatedly interjected, saying Ramaphosa was lying.

"If you can misrepresent something that happened less than 24 hours ago, then one shudders to think how much falsification you can put to events where your integrity and criminality are in question," Mpofu said.

Refuting claims

Farlam said the allegations made by Ramaphosa were outside the inquiry's terms of reference.

Mpofu insisted on refuting the allegations.

"I never said 'is there anything you can do for me?'. He said he would intervene. I did not ask for any favours. He offered that himself, gratuitously. Don't come here and patronise me, I did not ask for any favours."

Mpofu said he pointed out to Ramaphosa several other lawyers were waiting for President Jacob Zuma to sign their appointment as senior counsel.

Ramaphosa said there would be no conflict of interest if he intervened to assist Mpofu, or other lawyers.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during strike-related violence at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police, over 70 were wounded, and over 250 arrested on 16 August, 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

‘Incestuous relationship’

Earlier, Mpofu submitted that Ramaphosa was caught up in "incestuous relations" with role-players at Marikana in August 2012.

"You had relations with [former police minister] Mr Nathi Mthethwa, you were both in the ANC national executive of the ANC, as well as with [ANC secretary general] Gwede Mantashe," said Mpofu.

"You were a non-executive director of Lonmin. If you look at that web of relationships you will accept that you were caught in a cesspool of incestuous relationships in relation to the [Marikana] players."

Ramaphosa objected.

"Mr Chairperson, I do take exception to a question that seems to suggest that my relation with my organisation, the African National Congress, is incestuous," he said.

"Similarly, Mr Chairperson, I also take exception to a suggestion that my relationship with the secretary general of the ANC, and all the other colleagues, is incestuous."

Mpofu responded: "Yeah, that might well be."

Farlam said "incestuous" was an "unhappy word" which should be withdrawn.

"You should spell out what the nature of the conflict was. Put to the witness clearly what the conflict was. Don't use objectionable adjectives," Farlam said.

Mpofu responded: "I will try and restrain myself."

Nin Ja Kitty 2014/08/12 02:46:15 PM
That'd be right. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours and together we will make a fortune and we will be powerful. Another flipping scandal............. there will be more to follow no doubt.
mmmmTim 2014/08/12 02:49:46 PM
Yup, both of them utterly corrupt and barefaced liars. Fine examples of ANC cadres.
Kobus Hattingh 2014/08/12 02:49:49 PM
Dog eats dog...
rory 2014/08/12 02:53:29 PM
Lovely chaps, our role models.
Michael Farrell 2014/08/12 02:58:35 PM
This EFF-ing Dali Mpofu is only in this for his self and not for the good of anyone other than Dali Mpofu. He should have been kicked out by Farlam, the instant he went to court to claim payments for his 'humanitarian' deed of providing counsel for the miners as he first stated. Only then his greed and pride took over. If Ramaphosa is in it only for the value of his shares, then surely this Dali Mpofu EFF-er is in it only for his own personal gain.
John Lee 2014/08/12 03:00:34 PM
Mpofu's master, Mr Malema, won't be happy that he is asking "the enemy" for favours...
Sipho Zungu 2014/08/12 03:06:12 PM
if a nation don't have a common enemy it end up fighting amongst itself. hope as nation we not fighting amongst ourselves.
Dawid Jacobs 2014/08/12 03:07:51 PM
All skelms.....just a lot of skelms....
Thabiso Dekeda 2014/08/12 03:20:30 PM
The President too in not so distant future shall be sitting in that same position albeit in court..Ja it is going to happen... The South African people are resilient and live in the realm of the constitution... He can be in denial now about that if it makes him feel happy... We have Supa Dupa rule of law... Watch the space and keep this coomment in mind lovely South Africans...
Bonga Thomas Sankara 2014/08/12 03:21:14 PM
Ramaphosa has Satan in his heart...