MARIKANA MIN­ERS FACE ar­rest

Mine work­ers im­pli­cated in seven of the 10 mur­ders that oc­curred be­fore the Au­gust 16 mas­sacre may face the mu­sic

CityPress - - Front Page - ATHANDIWE SABA news@city­press.co.za

North West po­lice are al­legedly comb­ing through dock­ets in­volv­ing at least 13 Marikana mine work­ers with the in­ten­tion of re­ar­rest­ing them for mur­ders that took place be­fore the Au­gust 16 mas­sacre.

This as le­gal teams are still com­ing to grips with the Far­lam re­port into the Marikana mas­sacre, which was re­leased two weeks ago.

The mine work­ers are to be charged with the mur­ders of at least seven peo­ple who died in the week lead­ing up to Au­gust 16 2012.

Three sources with in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions and the cases against the mine work­ers con­firmed to City Press there had been a push to re­ar­rest the 13 and there was a pos­si­bil­ity of more ar­rests con­nected to the mur­ders be­ing made.

This de­spite the Marikana re­port hav­ing rec­om­mended that the pro­vin­cial Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity rein­ves­ti­gate all the cases.

North West po­lice are get­ting ready to re­ar­rest 13 Marikana mine work­ers, two weeks af­ter the re­lease of the long-awaited re­port into the mas­sacre that saw 34 mine work­ers gunned down by po­lice on Au­gust 16 2012. Two po­lice of­fi­cers work­ing in North West and a high-rank­ing of­fi­cial told City Press that the mine work­ers who were im­pli­cated in the mur­ders that took place be­fore Au­gust 16 would be ar­rested soon.

“The po­lice need to get these cases to court as soon as pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially now that the re­port has been re­leased, and it says the opened cases should be dealt with. That is all we were wait­ing for,” said one source.

The re­port states that the di­rec­tor of public pros­e­cu­tions in North West should con­duct fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cases to de­ter­mine whether there is a ba­sis for pros­e­cu­tion.

One high-rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cer said even though there are at least 13 mine work­ers who are al­ready fac­ing charges of mur­der and at­tempted mur­der, more ar­rests are on the cards.

“The SA Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS) had an agree­ment with the com­mis­sion and the lawyers, and fur­ther ar­rests re­lated to the mur­ders could not be done. We don’t have that agree­ment any­more,” said the of­fi­cer.

He added that the dock­ets were ready and there was no need to re­open the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, as rec­om­mended in re­tired Judge Ian Far­lam’s re­port. He said the mine work­ers im­pli­cated in seven of the 10 mur­ders that oc­curred be­fore the mas­sacre could be re­ar­rested in the next two weeks.

But SAPS pro­vin­cial spokesper­son, Paul Ra­maloko, has de­nied this. “We are not aware of any push to re­ar­rest the mine work­ers, and any fur­ther ques­tions should be di­rected to the na­tional spokesper­son,” he said.

Last Sun­day, when the wounded and ar­rested mine work­ers con­vened a meet­ing with their lawyers in Marikana, they ar­gued that the cases open against them should not be acted upon un­til sim­i­lar cases had been opened against the po­lice.

“We can’t be the only ones pros­e­cuted here. The po­lice killed peo­ple too, even more,” said one of the mine work­ers at the meet­ing.

City Press un­der­stands that the cases the mine work­ers will be re­ar­rested for in­clude:

The deaths of two se­cu­rity guards, Frans Mabelane and Has­san Fundi, who were hacked and burnt to death. There is ev­i­dence that shows that one of them had his tongue cut out and their firearms were stolen when they tried to stop mine work­ers from march­ing to the of­fices of the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers on Au­gust 12 2012.

The deaths of two po­lice of­fi­cers, Tsi­etsi Monene and Sello Lepaku, who were robbed of their pis­tols, a shot­gun and a ri­fle. There is ev­i­dence that shows that they were shot and hacked to death with a panga.

The death of Thapelo Eric Mabebe, a Lon­min em­ployee who was killed at the K4 shaft on Au­gust 12. There was tes­ti­mony that his face had been hacked and he was found ly­ing be­tween burn­ing cars.

The death of Julius Langa, whose body was found on Au­gust 13 with mul­ti­ple stab wounds.

Isa­iah Twala, whose body was found on Au­gust 14 be­hind the kop­pie. The post­mortem re­port shows that he died as a re­sult of mul­ti­ple stab wounds to the body.

Di­rectly af­ter the mas­sacre in 2012, about 270 strik­ers were ar­rested and charged with the mur­der of the 34 who were shot by the po­lice, and for at­tempted mur­der and public vi­o­lence.

In Septem­ber 2012, for­mer act­ing Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) head Nomg­cobo Jiba said that the mine work­ers would be re­leased un­til fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions had been un­der­taken.

In Au­gust last year, the Ga-Rankuwa Mag­is­trates’ Court, north of Pre­to­ria, ruled that the charges of public vi­o­lence, illegal gath­er­ing, pos­ses­sion of dan­ger­ous weapons and in­tim­i­da­tion be dropped against the 270 strik­ers.

But the charges of mur­der and at­tempted mur­der had been hang­ing over the 13 mine work­ers while they were wait­ing for the find­ings of Far­lam’s re­port.

Their lawyer, An­dries Nkome, told City Press the po­lice had no right to re­ar­rest his clients un­til the NPA had rein­ves­ti­gated the cases.

“If po­lice re­ar­rested our clients, we would be able to suc­cess­fully sue them for wrong­ful ar­rest. Af­ter go­ing through the re­port, our clients were dis­ap­pointed that the com­mis­sion did not have more pointed rec­om­men­da­tions that stated who should be charged. In­stead, it asked for another process.

“Now we and the po­lice need to await that process and our clients can­not be ar­rested. We are sit­ting here with clients who have been charged and yet no one else has,” said Nkome.

Lu­vuyo Mfaku, spokesper­son for the NPA, said they are putting to­gether a team to rein­ves­ti­gate all the cases, in­clud­ing the po­lice and the min­ers.

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