Mineworkers gather at court

By Drum Digital
15 October 2012

Kloof mineworkers gathered at the Westonaria Magistrate's Court on Monday in the belief that 72 people arrested last week would appear there.

The crowd listened as union leaders, dressed in National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) T-shirts, told them their comrades were instead appearing at the Protea Magistrate's Court, in Soweto.

Union leaders pleaded with the crowd to disperse and they obeyed.

Some sang liberation songs, while others blew whistles as they retreated.

Women, who had watched the crowd from a distance, ululated as it passed. "Re ye [Let's go]," one of them shouted.

The 72 mineworkers were arrested on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property on Friday after staging a sit-in at the Westonaria police station.

They were demanding that the police release 13 people arrested earlier on charges of the attempted murder and assault of two NUM shop stewards.

Police were deployed at the court and the road leading to the courthouse was closed.

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