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More Lonmin miners released

Ga-Rankuwa, North West - The second batch of mineworkers arrested following violence at Marikana was released in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Esau Bodigelo released the group of 102 men on free bail.

(File photo) A protester holds a placard outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg. Police opened fire on thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, leaving several bloodied corpses lying on the ground. Photo: Reuters. Credit: REUTERS

“Charges of murder and attempted murder against you have been withdrawn and you are being released on warning,” said Bodigelo.

“The case relating to the remaining charges has been postponed. You will appear in this court next year on February 12,” he said.

Another 162 men were released on Monday.

A total of 270 people were arrested for public violence after police opened fire on striking mineworkers gathered on a hill in Marikana, North West, killing 34 of them and wounding 78 on August 16.

They were later charged with murdering their colleagues, under common purpose legislation, but the charge has since been withdrawn amid a public outcry.

Announcing the withdrawal of the charges on Sunday, the NPA said the mineworkers would be released on a warning.

The NPA said the public violence case against them would be postponed pending the completion of investigations, including those of a judicial commission of inquiry set up by President Jacob Zuma.

On Thursday, a lawyer of the mineworkers, Dali Mpofu, said some of his clients would be pursuing charges including unlawful arrest, detention and assault against the police. - Sapa

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