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No reason to apologise - Marikana striker

2014-08-27 14:48

Pretoria - There is no need to apologise to the families of Lonmin workers killed at Marikana in August 2012, one of the strike's leaders told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday.

"On what grounds should I apologise?" Xolani Nzuza, his arms crossed over his chest, asked evidence leader Advocate Geoff Budlender, at the inquiry's public hearings in Pretoria.

Budlender asked him to search his conscience and say whether, as the most senior strike leader at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, in August 2012, he did not owe an apology to the families of Lonmin employees Eric Mabebe and Julius Langa.

They were killed for reporting for work during the strike.

Budlender asked him whether he felt the need to apologise to the family of Isaiah Twala, a striking worker killed when he was accused of spying, and to the relatives of slain Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani.

"Explain to me the reason why I should apologise," Nzuza responded.

He said Lonmin and now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was on Lonmin's board at the time, were responsible for Fundi and Mabelani's deaths.

"I have no knowledge of who killed the strikers, but I do blame Lonmin for the killings. If Lonmin had spoken to the strikers, no one would have died," he said.

Budlender asked Nzuza whether the five were killed because Lonmin refused to give strikers more money.

"Yes," responded Nzuza.

Budlender asked Nzuza whether he helped police find the killers.

"Are you willing to talk to the strikers and say if they have any information they should come forward?" Budlender asked.

"That is not my duty. It is not my responsibility to help police catch murderers," he said.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people in Marikana in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012.

Over 70 people were wounded and over 200 were arrested. Police were apparently trying to disperse and disarm them.

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

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