Marikana workers still face charges

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Gavel1234

Independent Newspapers

File photo

Johannesburg - Criminal charges stemming from the August 2012 Marikana shooting still exist and Lonmin mineworkers continue to appear in court for them, the Marikana Support Campaign (MSC) said on Tuesday.

“The charges have never been dropped. They have expanded,” campaign spokesman Rehad Desai said.

“Court dates have been re-scheduled continuously to coincide with the expected end of Farlam Commission of Inquiry.”

On August 16, 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when police fired on a group gathered near Lonmin's mine at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, while allegedly trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is probing the deaths of the 44.

Initially 270 Lonmin miners were arrested on charges of murder and attempted murder.

In September 2012, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced it would provisionally withdraw the charges and release the miners on a warning.

On Tuesday, Desai said the murder and attempted murder charges had never been dropped.

He said more than 270 workers had been appearing in different courts for different crimes during the course of this week.

Some faced charges of public violence and intimidation, others charges of murder and attempted murder. Some charges related to the killings in the week preceding the August 16 shooting.

Desai said due to the large number of workers, they appeared in different courts on different days.

The SABC reported that some of them appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, north of Pretoria, on Tuesday.

They were charged with public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons, and intimidation.

NPA spokesman Nathi Ncube said: “I cannot comment. I am not aware of a decision to recharge anyone.”

He would look into the matter and comment later. - Sapa


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