Miners assaulted in custody - lawyer

2012-08-29 14:09

Ga-Rankuwa - People detained in connection with the violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine were assaulted in police custody, the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

The men appeared in court where they were represented by about six lawyers.

"These accused were assaulted in custody. Some of them sustained injuries on the day of the arrest," said one of the lawyers, Simon Hlahla.

"Those who were injured are not getting medical attention. Their bail application should be treated as a matter of urgency."

The defence team told the court that not all of the 260 men arrested at the mine worked there. Some of them were onlookers.

One expressed concerns about those with chronic illnesses getting their medication while in custody.

"My colleague here makes it sound as if it's easy to say to a policeman 'I am on ARVs, may I have my medication?' It's not easy," Hlahla said, referring to prosecutor Nigel Carpenter.

He referred to the day when the mineworkers were brought to court and some were made to sit in police trucks for the whole day, while a few appeared in court.


"The defence team made a lot of noise about those conditions. Now we are told that other arrangements have been made."

Carpenter told the court earlier that the accused who were not in court on Wednesday would be held at the Ga-Rankuwa police station.

"This arrangement was done for the easy provision of toilet facilities, food and water," he said.

Hlahla told the court that the State was given a chance to verify the particulars of the detained men when they made their initial appearance on August 20.

The officer in charge of the investigation and verification of the men's addresses, Brigadier Jacobus van Zyl was not doing his job, the defence said.

"He got his bite at the cherry and he let it rot. Now he wants to get a fresh cherry. What assurance do we have that he will deliver?" Hlahla said.

Van Zyl was called in as the first State witness on Monday. He supported the State's application for the bail hearing to be postponed for a further seven days.

Only a few men from the group were in court because the room was not big enough to accommodate all of them. Those who appeared would have to convey what happened to the others.

They were arrested last Thursday after police opened fire on protesters near Lonmin's Marikana mine, North West, killing 34 and wounding 78.

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2012-08-29 14:49

    Amazing, it didn't take long for the "assault while in custody" charge to surface and the "I need my medication" calls. Seems it's ok for them to strike using violence and intimidation and nit have to worry about their illnesses for the days they were camped on the hill, but the minute they are incarcerated, they become the victims! The whole affair is just so sickening.

      burningdogz - 2012-08-29 15:36

      Yeah, typical legal dancing. It's kinda hard to feel sorry for anyone in jail who attacked people with weapons like pangas and spears. Do you think your victims found that enjoyable? Sadly they can't complain to anyone about it, because they are dead, so you denied them the same constitutional rights you are now begging for. As aptly mentioned as well, they weren't that ill while camping on a hill. Maybe the muti man should be chucked in jail with them. His magic rabbit...oh wait, hmmm, guess he can use a rat this time. His magic rat should keep them alive and well. All said and done though I smell that they might be auditioning for the Selebi Shake Shuffle backup dancers positions....

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-08-29 18:47

      Show no mercy for these hooligans they deserve all they get. Damn idiots just wants handouts as always. Klap hulle warm manne.

  • Arnoldus.DuToit - 2012-08-29 14:55

    You are either part of the cause or part of the solution. Claiming to be a bystander in my book makes you just as guilty as those who attacked the police. Unless you had part in the strike, why stick around something that would inevitably end in either bloodshed or arrests. (Which it did.)

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-08-29 14:57

    Just like the "Free Nelson Mandela" campaign, we should persuit the release of these freedom fighters from prison with the same vigaur and energy! The oppressive regime of Zuma cannot arrest us all!

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-08-29 15:15

      Go ahead, good luck. Don't make your problem "ours"

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-29 15:16

      Yes well off you go then - carry on and good luck.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-29 15:33

      Make sure you get the sangoma's phone number and remember, Don't kill the Rabbit!

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-08-29 15:02

    What i still dont get is that the miners are still refusing to go back to work. Do they NOT realise that with no work there is no income & therefore their salary demands can not be met?????

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-08-29 15:08

    If true ,it wiil surely improve their relationship.

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-29 15:19

    Cry me a river brother, cry me a river. The police aren't air hostesses.

  • jacobus.m.vantonder - 2012-08-29 15:26

    "Some of them sustained injuries on the day of the arrest," well if they didn't want to get in the truck/ van, I also would have hit him against the head and then push him in, they didn't want to listern in the first place. "One expressed concerns about those with chronic illnesses getting their medication while in custody", if some got AIDS, why should we care, there is so much info on AIDS that if they pick it up while sleeping around then I say let them be...lesser strikers for the next time..

      ngoakoanav - 2012-09-02 08:30

      u have no messy hw can u say that while people are injured,i ti was u will u feel Good en happy

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-08-29 15:46


      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-29 17:36

      The biggest loosers who never knows what their task is

  • david.lebethe - 2012-08-29 15:52

    I am concern about flagrant display of arrogance and disrespect for constitutional rights of mineworkers by both the police and the court. First, is that it had to take more than 48 Hours for mineworkers to appear in court; secondly, is that the court failed to come to mineworkers rescue even when informed that they were left behind the van for hours without water or food; thirdly, is that they are denied the right to medication even when informed that some of them are on ARV's. While police's conduct may be understandable, however, it inexcusable that court did nothing about violation of mineworkers' (read suspects) Bill of Rights. I feel this is a matter of serious concern and that Human Rights bodies (and so are bodies like Law Society, Magistrate Commission, Black Lawyers Association, etc) should intervene. In fact, their silence is deafning.

      johandebeer - 2012-08-29 16:10

      You concern is noted. Now stuff off.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-08-29 16:53

      Dear david : The constitutional rights of an arrested person states that he has to be charged within 48hrs after the arrest...That is something different from a court date. In this case the miners were charged, and a court order was obtained for them to remain in custody, until their next court appearance. I think the miners can be lucky that they already had their first court appearance so quickly, in many cases awaiting trail members wait for months to go to court whilst they remain in custody. Secondly: I`m sure those miners family members now where they are and can bring their Arv`s to them in jail.

  • Tiyani - 2012-08-29 15:56

    Verwoed must must be laughing and shaking his head on his grave

  • thomas.mazibisa - 2012-08-29 16:33

    The defence team told the court that not all of the 260 men arrested at the mine worked there. Some of them were onlookers. "Onlokers"???

  • david.lebethe - 2012-08-29 17:41

    @bobo.jane.1 I beg to differ with your view. The constitution makes it imperative for police to bring a suspect before the court within 48hrs and just charge a person and let him/her rot in the cell. Maybe you need to go back and read that piece of provision again or let someone knowledgeable about the law to interprete it for you. Otherwise, your input is misleading.

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-08-29 17:43


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