This is all the more ludicrous in the face of President Ramaphosa’s own history of being involved in a mass killing to neutralise his competition in August 2012, when black unionists at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in Rustenburg staged a protest regarding their rights for a pay rise. The competition between National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) – of which Ramaphosa had previously been the leader – and the striking Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) came to a head in Marikana.
After a week of demonstrations, police opened fire on the protesting miners, killing 34. Ramaphosa happened to be a non-executive director of Lonmin since his company Shanduka was a shareholder in the mining concern. In a series of emails shared between Ramaphosa and Lonmin’s board just a day before the mass bloodbath, Ramaphosa had called for a heavy-handed approach. He demanded that “concomitant action” be taken against the AMCU unionists he described as “plainly dastardly criminals”.
Even if the staged Farlam Commission – the inquiry into the Marikana massacre – largely exonerated Ramaphosa, it was quite obvious to all observers that Ramaphosa had acted in his own personal interest to protect his investment. Clearly, his minister of police does not want citizens to have that recourse against attackers.
The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, "discovering" thousands of rounds of ammunition in the street.
This + footage of citizens defending themselves & their homes w/ licensed firearms, will be used to justify the upcoming Firearm Amendment Bill to remove the right to self defense pic.twitter.com/2y3hLCuf96
— Kobayashi's Basilisk (@FaeceSocietatis) July 15, 2021
Sasria, the state-owned insurer set up after private firms stopped underwriting risk due to ongoing political violence, expects total claims of up to 12 billion rand – by far the largest sum since Sasria was set up in 1974. “This is the worst in terms of financial magnitude,” managing director Cedric Masondo told Reuters.
The SANDF has meanwhile arrived in Richards Bay to take control of the dangerous security situation. Councillor Christo Botha told FWM: “We are grateful for their arrival.”
He said once they were deployed, “in place and taking control, we will then withdraw and Community Policing Forums (CPF) to resume their normal responsibilities”. The CPF are groups of ordinary citizens who risk life and limb to protect critical infrastructure. These are the people that Cele would like to disarm. Richards Bay is a mineral export hub.
Botha added: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank every single person, all the security companies, the CPF and all the volunteers for the extraordinary assistance they have rendered in the protection of the city.”