FYL demands Marikana miners' release

2012-09-01 20:32


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Johannesburg - The national director of public prosecutions and the ministry of justice must release the 270 arrested Marikana miners, Friends of the Youth League (FYL) said on Saturday.

"We call on all people in South Africa to increase the voice that demands the immediate release of the arrested mineworkers," FYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.

"When they appear for bail hearing on Thursday, workers should be released on free bail because the arrested workers do not have the money to pay for bail."

On 16 August, police opened fire on striking workers gathered on a hill near Lonmin's Marikana mine, in North West, killing 34 of them and wounding 78.

A group of 270 miners were arrested and charged with public violence.

On Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced they would also face murder and attempted murder charges for the deaths of their colleagues.

The NPA's contentious decision was questioned on Friday.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said he would seek clarity on the reasons for the move, while legal experts and political parties roundly condemned the decision.

Shivambu said: "Now that some elements within the state are beginning to notice the sickness and madness of those who decided to kill workers, arrest those they could not kill and charge them with the murder committed by the police, further actions and interventions should be made."

The FYL was calling on the NPA to drop the charges and wait for the judicial commission of inquiry to conclude its work.

"Mineworkers should be given space to continue fighting for the R12 500 per month minimum wage for all.

"The so-called investors who continue to brutally and fatally exploit workers should appreciate that workers should share in the country's wealth through reasonable salaries and income and working conditions," he said.

The FYL would be going to all the mines in the country to address protesting workers and those who were not protesting.

"[We will] agitate those who have not yet downed tools to do so and join in the mining revolution whose outcome will be a minimum wage of R12 500 per month for all mineworkers and improved working conditions," said Shivambu.

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Read more on:    lonmin  |  fyl  |  npa  |  floyd shivambu  |  jeff radebe  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest

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