4 more held over Marikana killings

2012-10-24 12:05
(Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

(Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Police on Wednesday said they have made four new arrests in connection with killings during a labour dispute at Marikana Lonmin platinum mine that has killed nearly 50 people since August.

The latest arrests take the numbers of civilians being held over the killings, to eight.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane, said the four were arrested on Tuesday at a police checkpoint in the mining town.

An eyewitness who saw the arrests told the Daily Maverick that a contingent of heavily armed police stopped a taxi she and others were travelling in on their way home from the Farlam Commission hearings.

According to the eyewitness, the men and women were all ordered out of the taxi, separated and made to lie on the ground.

Then the police ordered them to look away and not at the officers’ faces on pain of being shot. The woman said she was specifically threatened with shooting after she disobeyed the order.

The woman said at least one of the arrested men was a key witness at the hearings and it was unacceptable that police arrested them at this time.

Last week up to 4 000 workers at Lonmin mine in Marikana downed tools for a day over police harassment after the arrest of four more of their colleagues.

Ten people, including two policemen were killed during a wildcat strike, before police moved in and shot dead 34 protesting miners in chilling scenes reminiscent of apartheid brutality.

Three other people, including two unionists and a local government councillor have since been killed in the dusty mining town northwest of Johannesburg.

Ngubane said all those arrested are mineworkers and "they are facing murder" charges.

An investigation has opened into the deadly violence - focussing especially on the killing of the 34 miners by police.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest
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