Marikana murder charge ‘madness’: Malema

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IOL pic july12 julius malema Independent Newspapers (File image) Julius Malema. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Ga-Rankuwa, North West - Charging 270 miners arrested after the violence at Lonmin’s Marikana mine with murder was madness, expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema said on Thursday.

“The policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them. This is madness,” he told protesters at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, outside Pretoria.

“The whole world saw the policemen kill those people. We are going to be seized with this matter. We have asked the lawyers 1/8representing the 270 men 3/8 to consider making an urgent application at the high court.”

Malema was speaking after the men's bail application was postponed for another seven days.

Malema said arrangements had been made for the group to be held at the Pretoria Central Prison and the Mogwase Prison, in North West.

“At the prisons, the comrades will not be mixed with other people already serving sentences there. Their families will be allowed to visit them,” Malema, speaking in Sotho, told the crowd.

“Visiting days at the prisons are Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are going to get the lists (of which members of the group are detained at which prison) and will give them to your leaders. We must be strong.”

Malema urged the protesters to remain steadfast and to return to court next week for the group's next appearance.

“We will come back next week, hopefully in larger numbers. We must not be demoralised by this postponement,” he said.

“We have organised lawyers for these comrades. We have organised buses for you to go to the funerals this weekend.”

Malema was introduced to the protesters as “president” by suspended ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu.

Earlier, Magistrate Esau Bodigelo ruled that the group be kept in custody as not enough information had been provided to start their bail applications.

“My ruling is that it will be in the interest of justice that the State be granted another postponement not exceeding seven days. This matter will be postponed until next week.”

Malema attended the court proceedings on Thursday afternoon.

Heads turned in the courtroom when Malema walked in before 2pm, accompanied by Shivambu and suspended ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa.

At the time, Bodigelo was going through arguments presented by prosecutor Nigel Carpenter and the defence team, made up of six attorneys.

The State applied for the bail application to be postponed for seven days, so that the particulars of every individual, including criminal records, could be verified.

The men's lawyers had wanted them urgently released, and told the court some of them were not getting their medication for chronic illnesses such as tuberculosis and HIV.

The matter resumes next Thursday. - Sapa



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