President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent a tribute to the victims of the Marikana tragedy that took place on 16 August, 2012.
Writing on Twitter, the president said the tragedy was the “darkest moment” in South Africa’s young democracy.
The Marikana tragedy stands out as the darkest moment in the life of our young democracy.
Today we remember our 44 compatriots who lost their lives in Marikana seven years ago this week. Never again can we allow such a tragedy to befall our nation.President Cyril Ramaphosa
However, Ramaphosa faced backlash from some Twitter users who argued that his role as a director of Lonmin allegedly contributed to the incident.
“How dare you make such a statement when you’re the one who made the call?!!! Some of us will NEVER FORGET. Wow the nerve!!!!!!” replied Twitter user Zanele Kabane.
Others felt that the president has not fulfilled his promise to visit Marikana, while some urged him to speed up compensation for the affected families.
This would have been the 1st remorse by showing up at the Marikana in person and say the exact words you twittering. Only God knows how the response would have been!
I wish you well Mr President on behalf of those widows and children who lost their fathers on this day.@TshepoManyak
The best way to honour them my leader is to release their compensation urgently. I implore on you to lead this process.@Lehlonoholo_13
Some South Africans came to Ramaphosa’s defence, arguing that the claim he was responsible for Marikana is “propaganda.”
@ramo_moeng tweeted, “Law of propaganda: Repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”
The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into Marikana found that “it cannot be said that Ramaphosa was the cause.”
There is no basis for the commission to find even on a prima facie basis that Mr Ramaphosa is guilty of the crimes he is alleged to have committed.Marikana Commission of Inquiry
The Commission also found that Ramaphosa was not aware of the police operation on 16 August until after it took place.
Ramaphosa has always maintained that his call for “concomitant action” only meant that police should restore law and order.