Just over 300 miners continued to face off with Sibanye-Stillwater mine and President Cyril Ramaphosa for their alleged role in the tragic events of August 2012 in Marikana which left 34 miners killed and several others injured. The virtual proceedings in the Gauteng High Court Division continued on Tuesday with submissions from Sibanye-Stillwater.
The events of the Marikana tragedy in 2012 are back in the spotlight nearly a decade later. This time, Sibanye Stillwater mine, previously known as Lonmin and President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his personal capacity as a shareholder and director of Lonmin are being held accountable for their alleged role in the violence on that fateful day.
Miners are seeking among other things an unconditional apology and damages to the tune of R1-billion. The court heard that a pleading must identify the legal basis that entitled the plaintiff to the relief sought. Sibanye however submits among other things that the applicants’ pleadings fail to show the harm caused through Sibanye’s conduct.
“Those pleadings in their own terms do not satisfy the requirement of explaining to the defendant how it is that its conduct is alleged to have resulted in the harms of which the plaintiffs pursue damages and my lord, the answer offered by the plaintiffs in their heads of arguments with respect is no answer, it is a repetition of deficient pleading,” says Adv. Kate Hofmeyr, Counsel for Sibanye-Stillwater.
Advocate Dali Mpofu, on behalf of the miners disagreed with these submissions, arguing that the question and details of the “how” is not something that is traversed in a pleading.
“What we are called upon to do in a pleading my lord, is not to traverse the full evidence of how this and that happened, who did that, whether the car was red or yellow, you just plead that you hit me with a car and you broke my leg, you know that’s it or you broke my finery, whether it’s the index finger or this one…will be contained in the so-called expert report,” says Mpofu.
Parties wrapped up their submissions on Tuesday. It’s unclear how long miners will have to wait for the justice they yearn for as judgment is reserved in the matter.
VIDEO: Marikana massacre miners back in court