South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa rejected claims that a court had ruled that mineworkers who were injured at the hands of police may pursue damages against him.
Ramaphosa was a non-executive director at Lonmin in 2012 when rock-drill operators embarked on a strike over wages that ended in 34 of them being gunned down by police, near its Marikana mine. In the days leading up to the shootings, Ramaphosa had called for “concomitant action” to bring an end to the strike.
Surviving mineworkers took Ramaphosa and Sibanye Stillwater, which acquired Lonmin in 2019, to the High Court seeking compensation of about 1 billion rand ($61 million).
According to a statement from the presidency, the court agreed with Ramaphosa that allegations that he “owed a duty of care to the plaintiffs due to his role as director of Lonmin,” were incorrect.
Ramaphosa also said the court had not established that he bore any legal duty in relation to the Marikana tragedy or that he was the cause of harmful conduct.
The massacre prompted a lengthy inquiry by retired Judge Ian Farlam, who cleared Ramaphosa of wrongdoing.
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