Three held after murders around Marikana

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Johannesburg - Three people had been arrested in relation to three murders linked to violence around mines in Marikana, the North West premier’s office and the police said yesterday.

Two of the suspects had been linked to the murder in August of a female National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) shop steward, Nobongile Nora Madolo, who was killed outside her home near NUM’s offices at Lonmin’s Western Platinum division.

One of the men, a 33-year-old Lonmin employee, was apparently wearing a T-shirt of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at the scene of a tavern shooting at Wonderkop.

However, police said there was no hard evidence to link the man to the union.

Jimmy Gama, the national treasurer of Amcu, said he did not know if the man was a member. “Anybody, whether a member of Amcu or a member of the community, wears our T-shirts,” he said.

The other person arrested in connection with Madolo’s death was a 25-year-old man, who had appeared in court on Tuesday, SAPS General William Mpembe said.

He also appeared in connection with the murder of NUM shop steward Percy Letanang, who was shot seven times at his home in Segwaelane, outside Marikana, last month.

The 25-year old suspect remained in police custody pending appearances in the Rustenburg and Ga-Rankuwa magistrate’s courts on Monday and Tuesday.

The third killing was that of a man who was shot at a tavern in Wonderkop on December 6. A man whose identity is not known at present and the 33-year-old mineworker have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

They faced charges of attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and pointing of a firearm in relation to an armed robbery at Wonderkop Hostel, the police said. The two men were denied bail by the Marikana Periodical Court on Friday.

The arrests are the first since a spate of killings blamed on inter-union rivalry began in Marikana a year ago.

“We welcome the breakthroughs [and] commend police for the arrests,” North West Premier Thandi Modise said.

NUM was unable to comment yesterday. - Business Report

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