Striking miners chant slogans outside the Lonmin mine in Rustenburg on August 15, 2012. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Mogwase - Seventeen mineworkers facing multiple charges relating to a violent strike at Lonmin platinum mine operations in Marikana near Rustenburg four years ago, briefly appeared in the North West High Court in Mogwase on Monday.

The case was postponed to February 4, 2019, due to an application the accused brought before the High Court in Pretoria to review National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams decision to prosecute them.

They had applied to the NDPP boss to drop charges against them but, their application was rejected.

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, in the days before August 16, 2012, when 34 mineworkers were killed by the police during a wildcat strike at Lonmin platinum mine operations in Marikana.

The State alleges the group killed two policemen, two Lonmin security officers and three non-striking workers.

Nineteen mineworkers were initially arrested but, Majeke Nonkonyana  and Dlunga Tholakele has since died. Dlunga known as Bhele was shot dead in his shack on October 17, 2017. On Monday, the court heard that accused 17 -- Mzoxolo Zukulu -- has also died.

Samekelo Mkhize was not present in court on Monday, his lawyer Andries Nkome handed in a medical certificate. A warrant for his arrest was issued in March when he failed to appear in court due to his illness.

African News Agency (ANA)