Marikana massacre
Johannesburg - Contrary to popular belief that those culpable for the deaths of the 34 mineworkers in the Marikana Massacre of 2012 have escaped justice, one top cop seems certain to be tried for the crimes.

The case against former North West deputy police commissioner Major-General William Mpembe, that was initially set down for three days, began in the Mankwe Magistrate’s Court in Mogwase on Monday and was remanded to August 12.

Mpembe, who has since left the employ of the SAPS and is now head of security at Tharisa Mine, is together with three others charged with murder, attempted murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The case against them stems from an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on the conduct of police during the fateful Marikana mineworkers’ strike in 2012.

The case against Mpembe and his three co-accused - all senior police officers, involves charges of contravening the Commission Act, the Ipid Act and defeating the ends of justice.

Activists for the #JusticeForMarikana campaign, among them the R2K, Marikana Youth Development and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri) insist they want Mpembe to be “jailed with everyone who was involved” in the shootings.

“As human rights defenders, we are calling for justice for the mineworkers massacred during the 2012 worker’s strike while exercising their right to protest,” #JusticeForMarikana said.

As head of security at Tharisa Mine, Mpembe continues to be a thorn on the side of the Marikana community, it would appear, as #JusticeForMarikana campaign contends that: “This (his new post) has affected members of the Marikana Youth Development (MYD) as he has been undermining their right to protest.

“He has gone to the extent of getting court interdicts to stop them from exercising their right to protest.

“Many community leaders from MYD are served with court interdicts by the Tharisa Mine under the leadership of William Mpembe.

“Some leaders were even acc used of planning to bomb Tharisa mine by Mpembe, using the police to question the comrades following allegations without facts,” the activists said.

The Sunday Independent