A chorus of wailing as miners arrive at court

2012-08-20 15:35
A woman holds a placard as she protests against the police shooting of miners at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

A woman holds a placard as she protests against the police shooting of miners at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Women protest outside court

2012-08-20 15:44

Around 100 women have arrived at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court outside Pretoria where more than 250 protesters were expected to appear for public violence at the Lonmin mine in Marikana.WATCH

Pretoria - There was a chorus of wailing outside the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, north of Pretoria, on Monday as trucks carrying arrested Lonmin mineworkers arrived after midday.

The group of 259 mine workers is set to make a first appearance on charges of public violence.

On Monday morning, a group of women protested at the court, demanding the release of their husbands, brothers and fathers.

Police instructed the protesters to leave the court building and they assembled in a street adjacent to the court, singing and dancing.

As police trucks carrying the mineworkers made their way into the court premises, escorted by police cars, the women started praying, some weeping hysterically.

Police officers holding shields had formed a barricade at the court entrance. The mineworkers could be heard singing in the police trucks at the entrance of the court premises.

Journalists and other people packed the small courtroom. The first lot of the mineworkers walked in a single file, filling the left side of the courtroom benches which had been reserved for them. Some of the men were holding hands.

The miners will be brought before court in different batches.

Former ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was one of the people who sat in court, waiting for the matter to begin.

Shivambu had been singing and dancing amongst the protesting women outside the court.

The 259 miners were arrested on Thursday last week following a deadly clash with police at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West province.

A total of 34 people were killed in the shootout that erupted near the mine when police tried to disperse protesters. More than 78 people were wounded.

Ten people had already died in the lead up to the clash.

Read more on:    police  |  lonmin  |  mahikeng  |  labour  |  mining  |  protests  |  mining unrest

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