gavel thumb100 Sunday Independent reports that the case of 329 mineworkers, who were arrested and injured during the Marikana massacre nine years ago, against President Cyril Ramaphosa in his personal capacity, Sibanye-Stillwater and the government for more than R1 billion in damages is set to be heard in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.

In court papers, the mineworkers claim that Ramaphosa acted in his personal capacity as a director and shareholder of Lonmin, which is now part of Sibanye-Stillwater, when he wrote an email stating that some of the striking workers were criminals and that “concomitant action should be taken against those engaged in criminal conduct”. Thirty-four mine workers lost their lives when police opened fire. The survivors allege that Ramaphosa’s email correspondence resulted in the police’s actions on 16 August 2012 and demand to be compensated. They are demanding R97 million in “patrimonial and compensable loss” and R164.5m in other damages. They also claim that Ramaphosa acted in collusion with the government. But Ramaphosa’s lawyers are set to argue that the accusations are vague and defamatory as the president didn’t instruct the police to kill striking mine workers. Ramaphosa’s lawyer last week strongly denied that the president was an instigator. But Mzoxolo Magidiwana, spokesperson for the survivors, insisted that the president had blood on his hands: “We strongly believe that the police killed our people in Marikana because they were under pressure from directors of Lonmin, like Ramaphosa.”

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