Miners arrives at court

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Pretoria - A group of 106 mineworkers arrested in the violence at Lonmin’s Marikana mine were brought to the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

They were to be released after their court appearance, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) North West spokesman Frank Lesenyego.

“Initially, only 102 were scheduled to appear today, but the latest information is that four other (men) have been discharged from hospital and will join the group.”

Two more men were still in hospital, and had yet to be released.

Another 162 men were released on Monday.

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

The were later charged with murdering their colleagues, under common purpose legislation, but the charge has since been withdrawn amid a public outcry.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

Magistrate Esau Bodigelo warned the first 162 men released not to interfere with the investigation or with any witnesses.

They were also cautioned not to contravene the Public Violence Act, the Gatherings Act, the Dangerous Weapons Act, or the Firearms Control Act.

The workers left Ga-Rankuwa in minibus taxis supplied by Friends of the Youth League, an organisation allied to expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. - Sapa

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