Detained miners all charged with murder

2012-08-30 19:56

Johannesburg - Detained Lonmin mine workers were on Thursday charged with the murder of 34 striking colleagues who were shot dead by police on 16 August during a strike over wages.

"The court today charged all the workers with murder, under the common purpose law," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Frank Lesenyego said.

Police opened fire on striking workers at the Marikana mine after a stand-off had already led to the death of 10 people including two police officers.

Following the shootings, 270 workers were arrested.

All the men were in custody and the case was postponed until next Thursday to allow for further investigations.

Lesenyego said details of the murder charges would be revealed during the bail hearing.

One expert, however, questioned the charges.

"In charging the miners for the death of miners killed by the police, I don't see how common purpose doctrine could be used here," said Vincent Nmehille, a law professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Police have defended the shootings at the mine as self defence.

  • SharonE - 2012-08-30 20:07

    Violence begets violence. It is about time strikers and protesters learn that being destructive is counter productive and could lead to a world of trouble. They were the aggressors. They are responsible. They should be held accountable.

  • mbulelo.bless - 2012-08-30 20:09

    I don’t understand law but I watch people being killed by police on TV. Now miners are being charged for murdering other 34 miners I’m confused.

      michael.rampatla - 2012-08-30 20:15

      NPA they just exposed their stupidity

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-08-30 21:21

      Clearly not \bless\ ed with many brain cells

      ingi.raikes - 2012-08-31 08:54

      mbulelo, the miners went up to the hill carrying weapons intent on trouble!!! They had killed, savagely, two guards and two policemen already plus a few more which l don't have all the details. Charge them? Of course!!! And in future lets see if they will charge our Police force again..........?

  • @Thabo.Shaku - 2012-08-30 20:14

    Who pulled the trigger: police or miners?

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-08-31 10:20

      Miners first. They deserved what they got. Too few were shot in my opinion.

  • norman.bigdawg - 2012-08-30 20:16

    Democracy: survice miners in marikana have been charge with murder of their own colleqz by police. Police killed the miner, but surviving miners charge charged (under common law)

  • norman.bigdawg - 2012-08-30 20:16

    Common Law: survice miners in marikana have been charge with murder of their own colleqz by police. Police killed the miner, but surviving miners charge charged (under common law)

  • norman.bigdawg - 2012-08-30 20:17

    Common Law: survice miners in marikana have been charge with murder of their own colleqz by police. Police killed the miner, but surviving miners charge charged (under common law)

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-08-30 20:17

    The argument runs that the miners gathered together in a common purpose to charge the police line in order to either harm them or put the police in fear of harm. The police fired in self defence which was made inevitable by the miners actions hence a reversed charge of murder. I think that the charges have been made to remove the strikers from the mine and give the situation time to cool down, I would be very surprised if anyone actually gets convicted for this. The miners should be charged for the violence and disorder that they have been supporting. The issue here does not rest with Lonmin,but the trade union members who agitated the whole situation should be held jointly liable and acountable.The police were in an impossible situation and acted correctly.

  • commentatorr.comm - 2012-08-30 20:20 there anyone with a brain?

  • christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-08-30 20:23

    For the ANC , very bad move ..........I love it , .... but from a distance

      christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-08-30 20:26

      very far distance , this is the beginning of the end

      pisciotta - 2012-09-01 15:43

      From a distance? The world does not give a damn about SA. What have the people, the culture the intelligence of SA given the world? It is so far gone backwards it doesn't deseve to be on civilization's radar.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-30 20:24

    These charges do not make any sense and it shows, once again bad judgement by the state, the police and the justice system to keep these workers locked up illegally. To charge 270people with murder means that every single worker actively took part in killing somebody, in this case then, if common purpose is used then the management of the Lonmin mine should also be arrested and charged with the workers, and if that be the case then so to should all the police that are associated with this. It is all smacking of a coverup, as police, politicians and mine management are 'scurring' around trying to ensure that the chain of command that ordered the march on workers is cleaned up, and that every body gets the story straight. While In the meantime, it is becoming more clear that police were involved in point blank execution style killings of workers, bringing even greater doubt on who were and was involved in the pre-massacre killings. The illegal imprisonment of workers have now become criminal, and it is leading a precedent that allows the ANC to continue to meander down the path to dictatorship, while much public sentiment supports the actions of police killings, it also allows unprecedented power into the hands of the police, one that is turning this democracy into a police state, faster than anybody can say, the workers deserved what they got. Is government hoping for an all out, walk out on all mines, to cover up their involvement at Lonmin? Power at all cost's??

      christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-08-30 20:35

      money talks , and it demanded retribution for wealth that could be lost if Lonmin goes under ,.......because it has too much dept.

      christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-08-30 20:39

      on second thought , ANC might be trying to provoke a war , keep old Zuma longer in the hot seat

  • joeballito - 2012-08-30 20:26

    How on earth are they going to prove that all 250 detainees had intent to kill a police officer? This is totally impossible and must prepare themselves for lawsuits of many millions ......Would like to know who made this outrageous decission

      pisciotta - 2012-09-01 15:45

      Malema said Blacks were better off during Apartheid. What does that say should be done?

  • robes.spear - 2012-08-30 20:28

    Politicing at its worst. This was a battle between ANC factions - pro Zuma and against. The cops controlled by Zuma and his allies opened up to teach dissenters a lesson. Their are unsubstantiated accusations about police using riot vehicles to run down protestors, shots from helicopters into the crowd and accusations of police breaking up the protestors and shooting groups of them. Anarchy begins. How the ANC have fallen from their moral pedestal. Corrupt bunch of theives hanging onto power for all they are worth.

  • impi.masondo - 2012-08-30 20:30

    d miners r d victims here, why r they guilty of this things?

      johandebeer - 2012-08-30 20:51

      This is not twitter. Write properly.

      bishop.solitaire - 2012-08-30 21:30

      The miners instigated this, charging police with weapons . police panicked, as would anyone when hundreds rush at you.

  • Bongiwe Bongie Mabongz Dlutu - 2012-08-30 20:30

    Who killed miners? Lol the law is biased...anyway editor/gatekeeper please be careful of spelling....look at Johannesburg on this article.

  • Samukelisiwe Tana Shelembe - 2012-08-30 20:32

    this is just crap, i thought the police killed the miners. yeah and they say trust the justice system

  • willem.v.hoven - 2012-08-30 20:36

    And the deceased will be charged of murdering themselves in absentia.

  • - 2012-08-30 20:36

    it does not make sense. this case is going to be a waste of time and money.

  • Notrax123 - 2012-08-30 20:38

    To be fair, should Julius not be charged under the common purpose law, inciting the miners to revolution and violence which will ultimately lead to deaths? Or should the little boy be left to play with his box of matches?

      michael.rampatla - 2012-08-30 21:27

      Julius went to marikane after the massacre, people who should charge are the directors,they just thought they will exploit desparate black people while they pocketing millions of rands. If they paid employees fairly and adhere to corporate governance massacre was not going to happen

      bishop.solitaire - 2012-08-30 21:33

      I think juju should soon be charged for fuelling hatred/rascist/illogical smack talk.

      nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-31 07:48

      @ michael, if you understood economics or bothered to read, you would find out that the miners owners are losing money not making millions, wake up fool

      phreewil - 2012-08-31 11:39

      The mines should belong to the people of this land. The resources on this land belong to the people living on the land. Our miners were murdered in cold blood and all you can do is call Mr Malema names? You're what's wrong with the human race. Chump.

  • johandebeer - 2012-08-30 20:42


  • joyce.beeton - 2012-08-30 20:55

    Charge the Unions!! They are the trouble stirrers each and every time. All they care about are the fees that members have to pay them and they do little, if nothing for them.

  • Dakalo Tshisikule - 2012-08-30 21:12

    only in south africa -y nt charge de police en de minister en unions

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-08-30 21:28

    All of them should be charged for the murders of the 2 security guards their 6 colleagues and the 2 policemen why not??!!

      AyGeewils - 2012-08-30 22:15

      strange that few see this pertinent and obvious truth - they had already murdered TEN PEOPLE and were busy preparing to MURDER MORE PEOPLE!

  • Fixzoza - 2012-08-30 21:30

    South African Law gone wrong...

  • Ntombi Gloria Mabaso - 2012-08-30 21:58

    u r being unfair.maybe those who died are da ones who murdered the police,securities & other.

  • david.a.meyer.925 - 2012-08-30 22:14

    Regarding the 34 miners who were shot by the police, can we infer that they effectively committed suicide, since they were engaged in a common purpose with the other 270 miners? This is surreal. There is a movie in this....

  • buti.Bambo - 2012-08-30 22:43

    This case is going nowhere,soon it will be thrown out of court.our tax is wasted

  • ben.mostert - 2012-08-30 22:44

    I don't know, maybe I'm stupid but if you charge a armed police officer with a weapon you're screwed. (I think its called "suicide by cop") Going on a "peace-full march" with fire arms and melee weapons seem questionable at the least. (suicide tendencies?) Murdering two cops before the march - Sends a clear message as to intend. Claiming to be the victims in this whole mess???????

  • gandanga.tororo - 2012-08-31 01:33

    The "ghost" of HF Verwoerd is alive and it shall haunt a few. Politics of nothing and one day will be one or should I say 'I am sick and tired of being sick and tired'. NPA lost credibility a long time ago, hence we have JZ at the helm.

  • gobo.lance - 2012-08-31 02:44

    Hilarious. I've always told people that the only time you'd see the ANc getting tough on lawlessness is if they ever tried to put their hands on the chosen ones diamond mines. Malema sealed his fate by calling for the nationalization of mines. Call of nationalization of FARMS all you want (White farmers own those). Don't dare open your black mouth about the mines, or the real people who prop up your gvt (and who funded most of the anti-aparthied movement) will come down swiftly.

  • anthonycharles.williams - 2012-08-31 07:41

    F$$K them it,s the free-DOM they voted for...

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-08-31 07:46

    Good throw the F***g book at them, they want to behave like militant thugs, then they must be prepared to take the consequences. Malema has blood on his hands, he should also be charged with murder, incitement to commit murder & violence, hate speech, high treason & attempting to start an anti Govt revolution.

  • michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-08-31 08:17

    Why has everyone forgotten the murderous intent of these barbarians? They MURDERED 10 people BEFORE the police shot! Including the HACKING of a policeman with a panga!

  • pieter.gouws.792 - 2012-08-31 09:08

    WOW... are we seeing a hint of a backbone growing back in the police and government??

  • phreewil - 2012-08-31 11:37

    This is disgusting. Our lands resources are being pillaged and when the people of this land take a stand, they get mowed down like animals.. and then they charge the survivors with murder! Your society is sick.

      pisciotta - 2012-09-01 19:36

      Had there not been an interest from outside SA, the people of "this land" would have not even come out of the bush and have a written language, much less have a market for what they sit on. The indigenous people of SA would still be 1/2 naked picking their noses sitting under a tree fearful of killing a rabbit.

  • LPmtc - 2012-08-31 15:37

    Most of the people who have no empathy for these are the ones sitting on a computer, bitter as hell, typing drivel all day on New24..These people are fathers, brothers, uncles..etc..their crime is striking for better salary..they do that everywhere in the world!!..

      paul.kruger.98434 - 2012-08-31 17:02

      The Constitution allows for strikes to take place however the carrying of any weapon during a strike should never be allowed. Carrying weapons while marching shows intent to use them. The same happened in Johannesburg when the IFP marched and were fired upon by the ANC. People complain about no schools, no libraries etc and then destroy them during protests and then the tax payers must again fork money to repair the ydamage. I have absolutely no sympathy with strikers that are destructive. If you are unhappy about the way things are governed use your vote and not destructive violence. You live by the sword you will die by the sword.

  • pisciotta - 2012-09-01 19:41

    Unfortunately these miners will not be executed. Rather they will be housed,clothed and fed at the expense of the State. What smart move on their part. Easy life for a few years.

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