Singing as miners arrive at court

2012-08-27 11:20
Video

Marikana mourns dead miners

2012-08-23 14:41

A week after the deadly Lonmin mine shootings thousands gathered under a white marquee for the memorial service for the 34 miners shot. WATCH.WATCH

Ga-Rankuwa - Singing, chanting and wailing greeted police trucks transporting arrested Lonmin mineworkers as they arrived at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Two groups of protesters - one of women, and a group of men - merged outside the court entrance, demanding the release of the 260 rock drillers.

The energetic protesters were waving placards. Some of the placards read: "Drop the charges, amnesty for all strikers arrested"; "The real criminals are SAPS and Lonmin"; "Phiyega you are a criminal".

The mineworkers were brought to court in trucks, escorted by members of the police's tactical response teams. The convoy drove past the protesters at the entrance at about 10:00.

The miners could be seen peeping through the small windows of the trucks, and banging on the sides.

The main entrance to the court had been sealed off by police officers with shields, wearing helmets. Two Nyala armoured vehicles were parked near the entrance.

Moments after the miners arrived, suspended ANC Youth League members, Floyd Shivambu and Sindiso Magaqa, walked past the police officers into the court premises.

The 260 mineworkers were arrested for violence at the Lonmin mine, in Marikana, North West.

They face a variety of charges including murder, attempted murder, armed robbery and public violence.

In the previous appearance, last Monday, the court heard that the 260 mineworkers were arrested following violent protests at Lonmin's platinum mine.

Thirty-four people were shot and killed while police were trying to disperse protesters. Over 78 people were wounded. Ten people had already died in the week before the clash.

The State asked for a seven-day postponement, saying the ongoing investigations were wide and complex.

The investigation would allow the State to unravel what happened at the mine, and additional charges would be laid later.

The State said the probe would be complicated by the fact that some of the miners were immigrants. For someone to be released on bail, the State first had to verify their addresses.
- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest
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