DESPITE being embroiled in the fallout following the Marikana killings, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has endorsed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as the right person to take over the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) next year.
“There are many things that follow an individual, but you keep raising the issue of Marikana although a commission never found Cyril guilty of any wrongdoing. Issues would continue to be raised…never mind who leads the ANC. The war is not against the individuals, but against the ANC,”says Cosatu’s second deputy president Zingiswa Losi adding that even if the trade union federation did not choose Ramaphosa, those who do not want to see the ANC govern would make allegations against any ANC leader.
The Farlam commission, established by President Jacob Zuma, to probe the killing of the 34 mine workers at Lonmin on August 16, 2012 “did not find Cyril guilty,” said Losi.
Ramaphosa came under fire from lawyers of deceased miners’ families at the commission headed by Judge Farlam.
Ramaphosa, who was a Lonmin director and shareholder until his election as ANC deputy president in 2012, was accused of being behind the police shooting of the 34 miners and 10 others, including police and security guards, in the week leading up to August 16.
However, the commission found that no member of President Jacob Zuma’s executive could be blamed for the biggest single loss of life in South Africa at the hands of police since the dawn of democracy in 1994. The commission recommended inquiries into the fitness to hold office of former police commissioner Riah Phiyega and former North West police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo. The inquiry into Phiyega had been completed by the Claassen commission, with Zuma expected to receive the report before the end of this year.
Cosatu first deputy president Tyotyo James says Ramaphosa, a former unionist and founding member of the federation’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), met Cosatu’s criteria to lead the ANC.
“If you look at the history, how the deputy president was one of the founders of the NUM and subsequently its founding secretary, you need not ask no more. He took mine workers out of the worst situations they faced at the time. He also played a very important role in the drafting of this country’s constitution,” said James. –ANA