Protesters disrupt Farlam inquiry

Pretoria - Protesters disrupted the Farlam Commission of Inquiry shortly after noon on Monday, shouting repeatedly that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has "blood on his hands".

Ramaphosa was being questioned by Advocate Dali Mpofu when a group of people started clapping and banging on tables.

Chairperson Ian Farlam walked out of the room as the group continued to chant that "Ramaphosa must resign" and "he has blood on his hands".

Sapa reported that bodyguards rushed into the auditorium and police officers stood guard at the entrance.

'This is serious misconduct'

About 10 minutes later, Farlam returned to the room and addressed the protesters, saying it is important that the witness be able to give his evidence and be cross-examined, so that the commission could find out what happened at Marikana in August 2012.

"Those who are interrupting proceedings are depriving us of the opportunity to hear this evidence... They are in fact impairing the work of the commission.

"This is serious misconduct which cannot be tolerated in any civilised society."

Farlam said he would give the protesters one more chance, and if there were further interruptions they would be removed from the room.

Farlam thanked Mpofu for calming the protesters down.

Proceedings resumed at 12:30 and adjourned for lunch just before 13:00.

Earlier, Sapa reported that security was significantly heightened at the Tshwane council premises ahead of Ramaphosa's testimony. A police water cannon, Nyalas and rolls of barbed wire were seen outside, while a large number of police and presidential protection service vehicles were also on the scene.

According to Sapa, a group of protesters seeking to enter the Tshwane council premises converged at the main entrance as Ramaphosa testified.

Some people in the auditorium wore white T-shirts written "Buffalo Head killed people in Marikana" and "McCyril the killer". Some T-shirts had a drawing of a buffalo head.

These were references to Ramaphosa reportedly once unsuccessfully bidding up to R19.5m for a buffalo cow, and his ownership of the McDonald's franchise in South Africa.

Petrus Kruger 2014-08-11 12:34:46 PM
Of course he has! And he's got R7.8 billion in the bank!
Zilindile Gagule 2014-08-11 12:44:40 PM
I think Cyril Ramaphosa must go back to his roots,as we all knew how he was so respected in our struggle but now he has been just act as like Zuma's pikinin come on Cyril the blood of the murdered miners is on you now.So take the responsibility now.
Kobus Hattingh 2014-08-11 01:01:49 PM
Ag please, even if CR is soaked in blood with guilt, they will nevertheless keep voting ANC.
Carling Blacklabel 2014-08-11 01:10:16 PM
who cares who's blood was on who's hands anyway??? the fact of the matter is that a group of muti-induced, brainwashed hooligans were gunned down for attacking armed riot police whoe were not willing to be buthchered burnt and eaten!!! ffs!
Andrew John Becker 2014-08-11 01:31:15 PM
Hahaha. Spelling nazis lol. That just made my day. Full on Carling Blacklabel. They brought it onto themselves by marching on the police. But hey! It wouldn't be SA if we can't have a scapegoat for the consequences of our actions
Andrew John Becker 2014-08-11 01:34:39 PM
Oh that's weird. I didn't say one racist or non PC thing and they delete my comment. Thats freedom of speech in SA for you....
Ralph Thornley 2014-08-11 01:50:45 PM
So what do people achieve by disrupting the inquiry???
mica gogome 2014-08-11 04:19:15 PM
Not a political matter.
Johan Diedericks 2014-08-11 06:32:20 PM
A total waste of taxpayers money. The same level as the so called arms deal enquiry! But the ANC government will not stop stealing!
Matthew_Atmore 2014-08-12 12:51:34 PM
Mpofu calmed them - sounds like a certain political party staged it