Marikana killers must be arrested - miner

Johannesburg - Those responsible for the murder of two security guards and two policemen during the August 2012 strike-related unrest at Marikana should be arrested, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

One of the leaders of the strike at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, Xolani Nzuza, told the commission in Pretoria he felt "bad" about the deaths.

"I am hurt about security officials who were killed because they were in a place they were not meant to have been in," said Nzuza.

"I would be happy if the people who killed the security guards were arrested.

"If there is evidence about who killed the two police officers, they should also be arrested," Nzuza said.

A witness, known only as Mr X, who testified before the commission several weeks ago, said he was present when security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelani were killed.

He said the strikers killed the guards, removed some body parts, and used their burnt remains in muti rituals.

The workers believed that the muti would make them strong and invincible against the police.

A police officer who led the Marikana operation testified last year about how his two colleagues, Tsietsi Monene and Sello Lepaku, were killed.

"I heard [teargas shooting]. I then realised that strikers had turned against police. It wasn't a very good scene," said Major General William Mpembe at the time. He was the deputy police commissioner of the North West.

"I saw Warrant Officer Monene being chopped and killed in front of me. I saw how officer Lepaku was killed," he said.

On Wednesday, Nzuza told the commission the police officers responsible for the deaths of 34 of his colleagues should also account.

"If the police were found to have done wrong, they should also be arrested," said Nzuza.

Some of the miners involved in the unrest were arrested and were now unemployed.

Charges dropped

Last week, the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's court dropped the charges against 279 miners who were arrested during the violence.

Charges were dropped because the State would have been unable to prove their cases if the matter went to trial.

The accused had faced charges of public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons and intimidation.

Initially, they also faced charges related to murder but these were provisionally withdrawn by the court.

Nzuza said the dropped charges were evidence that people were arrested "for nothing".

"They were arrested and tortured and then there was no case against them after they attended the case for two years," he said.

"It makes me feel bad because now we can see that there was no truth in what they were arrested for," he said.

It was also hurtful to know that many of his colleagues died but had done nothing wrong, said Nzuza.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed during the strike-related unrest in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012. Over 70 people were wounded and over 200 were arrested. Police were apparently trying to disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

Graeme Musto 2014/08/27 02:08:12 PM
Savage mentality at its best
Simon Henderson 2014/08/27 02:13:05 PM
Ah. So we get to this finally. It bugs me to no end that the 10 people killed the week before always seem to be tacked onto the news articles as an afterthought.
criticallyhonest 2014/08/27 02:18:38 PM
Couldn't agree more! Any party guilty of a crime in South Africa, regardless of the circumstance, should be brought to justice. Please list names here.......... .....and here and here That should fill enough A4 dossiers to keep the courts busy for a few decades!
Dimitar Kostov 2014/08/27 02:31:43 PM
So the media spent countless hours reporting on the "victims" of police shooting but we are only hearing now about the people that were victims of the miners. No comission is setup to her their families. We must stop justifying murder with poverty. there are many poor countries in the world where crime rate is lower. Poverty is not the issue. Its a cultural issue where no significance is put on life and people are easily expandable.
Leon Postma 2014/08/27 02:41:01 PM
Justice will never prevail in SA because these violent murderers are walking the streets ready to murder again!
Sam Beza 2014/08/27 02:51:03 PM
The people who killed the security guards should be arrested, charged and hanged,… O sorry I mean punished in accordance with the law. The people who was present who did not commit the act, but who saw what happened, and did NOTHING, should be arrested, charged and hanged,… sorry punished in accordance with the law. Those who might claim that they could not intervene because of fear of their safety, should be arrested, charged and punished since they did not come forward afterwards and state what they saw and who the accused was. Its seems to be a insult to by a impimpi, but it perfectly OK if somebody commits murder in your presence and gets away with it. That person feels bad because of guilt. He feels bad because he knows he contributed to the murder, not only of those security and police, but also to the deaths of the Marikana miners. He feels guilt because he knows if the miners was not violent, aggressive, frenzied and irrational in the first place, then none of these deaths would have happened.
Siyabonga Biyela 2014/08/27 03:09:16 PM
Watch your back, Mr. Nzuza
Collins Ntelele 2014/08/27 03:15:08 PM
This article is confusing me.Does the miner refer to 34 miners or two policemen?Something s horribly wrong here.