North West - Police stations close to the Lonmin mine at Marikana may be too small to contain the mine workers arrested for violence earlier this month, the police ministry said on Sunday.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had consulted his correctional services counterpart, Sbu Ndebele, over the “possibility of relocation of arrestees to other correctional facilities pending the investigations,” said his spokesman Zweli Mnisi.

“Such a relocation would not be something peculiar because from time to time, arrestees are moved from one prison to another.”

If such a decision were taken, it would be informed by the numbers of people arrested, as nearby police stations might not have sufficient space.

Police shot dead 34 striking Lonmin Platinum mine employees and wounded 78 in a violent confrontation earlier this month.

A total of 260 mineworkers were arrested.

They complained to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that they had been assaulted by the police during their arrests.

IPID was continuing to investigate and the minister was receiving progress updates.

A City Press report that Mthethwa had negotiated with correctional services to take over mine workers' supervision was misleading.

“There is no such thing,” Mnisi said.

To suggest that he wanted correctional services to take over their supervision would be to prejudge an investigation into assault claims by miners Mthethwa had himself called for, said Mnisi.

Mthethwa had received a preliminary IPID report on the matter on Friday.

“In a few days we should be receiving a final report, which importantly will outline recommendations on what action to take against any police officer who may have been involved,” Mnisi said.

The men are expected to appear in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa