Marikana awaits miners' release

2012-09-03 12:49

Johannesburg - Families of 140 arrested Marikana mineworkers eagerly awaited the release of their relatives on Monday.

"It has been three weeks. I cannot wait to see my cousin," said Mike Sobuwa.

The mineworkers were among 270 people arrested for public violence after the police opened fire on a group of protesting workers, killing 34 of them and wounding 78 near Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine on August 16. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Last week, prosecutors said the men arrested would be charged with the murder and attempted murder of their colleagues, but the charges were provisionally withdrawn on Sunday after a public outcry.

The National Prosecuting Authority said on Sunday that the physical addresses of 140 miners had been confirmed, and they could apply to be released on warning. The other 130 would remain in custody until their addresses had also been verified.

Sobuwa expected his cousin to be among those released by the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court.

Hundreds of striking mineworkers were still refusing to go back to work on Monday and gathered at the Wonderkop squatter camp where they sang protest songs.

They held placards vowing to not return to work until their demand of a R12 500 wage increase was met.

Negotiations between unions, mine management and the department of labour were under way in Rustenburg.

Religious leaders were present at the miners' gathering. They were to be addressed by SA Council of the Churches president Jo Seoka, who is also the chairperson of the Bench Marks Foundation.

The Bench Marks Foundation is an independent faith-based organisation monitoring corporate performance, and is involved in the mediation process at the mine.

  • abdulrazak.modak - 2012-09-03 13:00

    excellent news for the embattled miners.....

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-03 13:05

      Embattled miners??? So you agree with them brutally murdering security guards and police? The manner in which they murdered those security guards is nothing closer to evil than you can get! They cut their jaws off and then set them alight whiles still alive! Yet you feel it right for them to roam the streets? Then you are no better than them!!!

  • andiswa.vilakazi - 2012-09-03 13:12

    the unions are to take responsibility for this whole saga, innocent men have died and other spent time in jail and whole families face a grim future..the unions are deceiving people about their pay salaries, they know very well that a company needs to be kept financialy sound to keep workers employed and continue operating, these union bosses fighting amount themselves thought that by inciting the workers for higher pay they can then go to the mine bosses and who ever wins there they get the workers memberships, i'm all for better pay but if a company does not make profits it will have to cut down and workers sometimes have to be retrenched, i'm quite sure that after all this is over down the line the mine has already lost a lot of production more workers will lose their jobs, the union bosses should be ashamed of themselves, thousands of people's lives have been changed forever while they keep they keep getting a salary and accruing wealth at the expense of the workers...shame to the NUM

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-03 13:21

    Again, why is the police so inefficient? An R5 rifle can hold between 30 and 35 rounds, depending on magazine spring quality. Why were only 34 hit / killed? this is poor marksmanship.

      herbert.plessis - 2012-09-03 13:30

      I get it, they were mostly double taps!

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-09-03 13:22

    Well one can see from the photo that this civilised gentleman just wants to negotiate for a better wage. He wouldn't hurt anyone would he?

  • herbert.plessis - 2012-09-03 13:31

    Are we going to get a national public holiday for this? Marikana day has a ricochet type sound to it, wouldn't you agree? A street name maybe? Library? Museum? Definitely not a SAPS Training College.

  • mike.dufham.7 - 2012-09-03 13:35

    They should have been locked up and the key thrown away, the barbaric half-wits

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