Marikana massacre cases back in court in March

Former North West deputy provincial commissioner Major General William Mpembe and five other policemen appeared in the North West High Court in connection with shooting in Marikana near Rustenburg in 2012. File Picture: ANA Reporter

Former North West deputy provincial commissioner Major General William Mpembe and five other policemen appeared in the North West High Court in connection with shooting in Marikana near Rustenburg in 2012. File Picture: ANA Reporter

Published Dec 10, 2022


Rustenburg - Two cases relating to the Marikana massacre 10 years ago, will be in the North West High Court in March next year.

Giving an update on strategy and overall performance, especially in dealing with priority crimes, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari Sekhaolelo said the case against Anele Zonke and 17 mineworkers has been postponed to March 6 to 10 in 2023 for pre-trial conference and trial pending the decision of the North Gauteng High Court on the review application brought by the mineworkers challenging the NDPP’s decision to charge them.

The case against former North West provincial deputy commissioner, Major General Mozondaze William Mpembe, and five policemen was postponed to February 27 up to March 3 for further evidence by the State.

This case relates to the deaths of three mineworkers and two policemen, who died during confrontation between the police and striking mineworkers.

Anele Zonke, Xolani Nzuzu, Simphiwe Booi, Khanyile Kanyise, Mzoxolo Magidiwana, Samekelo Mkhize, Amanda Nogwaza, Thobile Tyobeni, Mzukisi Soyini, Bongile Mpotye, Zamikhaya Ndude, Sithembele Sohadi, Loyiso Mtsheketshe, Zolile Honxo, Zwelitsha Mtshena, Mziwanele Mxinwa and Mzoxolo Zukulu are facing 26 counts ranging from attempted murder, murder, malicious damage to property, robbery, unlawful possession of firearm as well as unlawful possession of ammunition.

The charges relate to the murder of 10 people, preceding August 16, 2012, the day on which 34 mineworkers were killed by the police during a wildcat strike at Lonmin platinum mine operations in Marikana, now Sibanye Marikana operations.

The State alleges the group killed two policemen, Warrant Officer Oupa Sello Lepaaku and Warrant Officer Hendrick Tsietsi Monene, two Lonmin security officers, Hassan Fundi and Franz Matlhomola Mabalane and three non-striking mineworkers.

Mabelane and Fundi, were hacked and burnt to death when they tried to stop mineworkers from marching to the offices of the National Union of Mineworkers on August 12, 2012.

Monene and Lepaaku, were shot and hacked to death with a panga on August 13, 2012.

Thapelo Eric Mabebe, a Lonmin employee, was killed at the K4 shaft on August 12. He was hacked and was found lying between burning cars. Julius Langa was found on August 13 with multiple stab wounds.

Isaiah Twala was found on August 14 behind the koppie in Nkaneng, where striking mineworkers camped. He had multiple stab wounds.

Nineteen mineworkers were initially arrested but, accused number 10, Majeke Nonkonyana and accused number six, Dlunga Tholakele has since died.

Dlunga, known as Bhele, was shot dead at his shack in Nkaneng on October 17 in 2017.

Zonke, who is serving a sentence, was remanded in custody while the others had their bail of between R1 000 and R2 500 extended until their next appearance in court.

Anele Zonke was sentenced to 42 years in prison for the murder of Samancor Chrome mine’s human resource manager Goodman Zalukano, and attempted murder of Thandi Zulakangana, in Kroondal near Rustenburg in 2014.

Zalukano and Zulakangana were attacked by Zonke, together with Sandiso Majaxa and Siyabulela Nqwilelo, when they come out of a shopping complex in Kroondal.

Majaxa and Nqwilele were sentenced to 41 year jail term each for their part in the crime.

During the attack, Zulakangana, who was pregnant at the time, was shot and sustain serious injuries in her stomach, her unborn child was killed as a result.

Mpembe and five other policemen are facing charges of murder committed in Marikana near Rustenburg on August 13 in 2012 during a wage strike by Lonmin mineworkers.

They were arrested on March 15 in 2018 after an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

Mpembe is accused of the murder of mineworkers Semi Jokanisi, Tembelakhe Mati, policemen Warrant Officer Hendrik Tsietsi Monene and Warrant Officer Sello Ronnie Lepaauku.

He is also accused of the attempted murder of Zolile Honxo, Zwelitsha Mtshenwa, Muziwanele Mxinwa, Mzoxolo Zukulu, Sibongiseni Miya on August 13 in 2012 in Marikana.

The incident occurred three days before 34 mineworkers were killed by the South African police at a koppie (small hill) in Nkaneng informal settlement.

Lonmin workers waged a strike demanding to be paid a minimum of R12 500 per month, the workers led by rock drill operators rejected to be represented by trade unions and elected a committee to represent them.

The former policeman is charged alongside retired Colonel Salmon Johannes Vermaak, Constable Nkosana Mguye, Warrant Officer Masilo Mogale, Warrant Officer Katlego Joseph Sekgweleya, and Khazamola Phillip Makhubela, who are accused of the murder of Pumzile Sokhanyile, 48, a mineworker from Mdumazulu location, Ngqeleni in the Eastern Cape.