Charges dropped against Marikana miners

Johannesburg - Charges against 279 miners who were arrested during the August 2012 unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana were dropped in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, north of Pretoria, on Wednesday.

"The charges were dropped due to the fact that the State would not be able to prove their cases if the matter went to trial," said Andries Nkome, who was part of the defence team.

He said this had been the defence's argument from the beginning.

The group was charged with public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons and intimidation following the unrest at the mine which claimed the lives of 44 people.

Initially, the miners also faced charges related to murder but these were provisionally withdrawn by the court.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, on 16 August 2012 and over 70 were wounded.

Ten other people, including two police officers and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

The police claimed they were trying to disarm and disperse armed striking miners who had gathered illegally at the mine.

Nkome said the miners were now weighing their options about laying charges against the police who they claimed injured and assaulted them during the arrests.

"They are considering their legal options about the assault, and their decision on how to go about the matter will be made known in due course," he said.

Abongile S. Ngozi 2014-08-20 05:56:34 PM
NPA kodwa idlala ngathi
Rui Obed Muchenga 2014-08-20 05:57:41 PM
What a sad day.
Zilindile Gagule 2014-08-20 05:58:17 PM
That,s right what Garankuwa court did because the state was trying to cover their brutality by arresting the miners.
Zilindile Gagule 2014-08-20 06:05:08 PM
That,s right what Garankuwa court did because the state was trying to cover their brutality by arresting the miners.
Hank Shizmeister 2014-08-20 06:14:25 PM
But of course! SA only protects criminal scum. The police shouldn't have stopped shooting so soon.
SheilanDerek de Beer 2014-08-20 06:15:15 PM
TWO years later..!!!! wow the NPA is op en wakker..!!!
Kevin Marsh 2014-08-20 06:20:41 PM
This is another slap in the face for SAP who will never win against crime when the government does not enforce the law .
Scrotie McBoogerballs McBoogerballs 2014-08-20 06:33:41 PM
Why? Because law enforcement in SA is non-existent.
Tridals Mphuti 2014-08-20 06:58:09 PM
When read this comment I find them very similar to those of 1961 Sharpeville, 1976 Soweto. Only white people and those in favor of capitalism are sad and they even wishes more could be killing in 2012 Marikina
mica gogome 2014-08-20 07:06:17 PM
Eish,no truth in this world,justice system is failing us.Police officer and security officers were murdered.No justice for them and their families.