Court petition over mine funerals

2012-08-21 20:14
Julius Malema (AFP)

Julius Malema (AFP)

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Rustenburg - Plans are underway to petition the courts to allow jailed North West miners to attend the funerals of their slain colleagues, expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said on Tuesday.

"We are doing consultations to see if we can approach a higher court to have the workers released so that they can bury their colleagues," he said.

A group of lawyers had offered to provide free legal support to the workers.

"We welcome more assistance to help these workers," said Malema.

He was speaking after laying murder charges against the police at the Marikana police station over last week's shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine.

Malema said two cases were opened: one was against the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Lonmin security guards; the other was against the police.

"We believe in this process... police have promised to assign investigators for the cases. We will be making follow-ups."

The charges arise from a violent confrontation on a hilltop near the mine on Thursday when police opened fire on a group of protesters they were trying to disperse, killing 34 of them and injuring 78.

Another 260 were arrested and appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Monday. They were denied bail and the case was postponed until 27 August for further investigation.

Temba Booi, a worker who accompanied Malema, said he had trust in the Marikana police.

"NUM and the police killed our people. We trust that the cases will be thoroughly investigated."

A memorial service would be held on Thursday in Wonderkop, near the mine, said Malema.

Earlier in the day, he told reporters that the police, and not a commission, should probe the shooting.

"I do not trust [President Jacob] Zuma. The police must investigate this, not some politically motivated commission. This is the way it is supposed to be done," Malema said.

"The person who established this commission is not an honest man. He established it to arrive at certain conclusions."

Zuma set up a judicial commission last week to investigate the shooting.

Malema said some police officers were prepared to conduct the Marikana investigation, if given the opportunity.

"I spoke to some of the police. Some were there on the day and some were not. They said they were not happy with what happened and would investigate the matter if given a chance."

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  num  |  ancyl  |  julius malema  |  jacob zuma  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest

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