Mpofu slams arrest of Marikana miners

2012-10-29 12:34

Rustenburg - The Lonmin mineworkers who survived a police shooting in Marikana on August 16 are the only people able to give an account different to that of the police of what happened that day, the Farlam commission heard on Monday.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, was complaining about the re-arrest of four of his clients on October 23, in connection with killings around the Marikana hostel. They were on their way back from the inquiry at the time.

"Not only does this deprive us of witnesses... but is a reign of terror," Mpofu told the commission's chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam.

"Our clients are the only people who are able to give us information about what happened on August 16 that is not from the SAPS [SA Police Service]. Mr [Dumisa] Ntsebeza's clients are deceased," he said.

"Our participation is being rendered blunt."

Allegations of police torture

Thirty-four miners were killed in the police shooting and 78 were wounded. Another 275 were arrested.

Mpofu said there were allegations that those arrested were assaulted, tortured and manhandled, which was making it difficult for him to convince his clients to attend the inquiry. They were scared the same would happen to them.

He said that, according to the charge sheet, the four men were arrested in connection with murders on August 12, which fell into the commission's terms of reference.

On Friday, during their bail hearing, the magistrate struck the matter from the roll pending the outcome of the inquiry.

However, the four men were not released from custody, said Mpofu.

"Within minutes of this, our [lawyers] went down to the cells. Our people were re-arrested."

Statements from arrested men

Mpofu said it was worrying that there were police officers the Independent Police Investigative Directorate had called "murder suspects".

"The fact that these murder suspects are roaming the street... they haven't even been suspended," he said.

Tim Bruinders, for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), said he was relying on Mpofu's clients for statements about what happened on August 16.

"Our team cannot participate in the way we want to if our [Amcu] members are arrested and treated this way," he said.

"They feel hugely intimidated and reluctant to meet with us to complete statements."

Bruinders said his legal team had obtained only three of the four statements it needed.

"It doesn't take a lot in adding up that this is a campaign of intimidation. We can come to a practical arrangement... so we don't have this guerrilla warfare between police and us," he said.

  • mphogift.mukwevho - 2012-10-29 12:42


  • ben.alexander.16144 - 2012-10-29 12:49

    Funny how these mineworkers are now seen as victims, but they were the ones with weapons attacking the the perception of criminals have changed and those protecting the peace is seen as the bad.....SA is a loony bin with the anc the biggest clowns in the picture.

      mshiniboys - 2012-10-29 13:00

      Thinking is a skill...if they were the ones with weapons then how did they get shot by police? they fired at themselves?

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-10-29 13:24

      Mshiniboys..."thinking is a skill"...clearly one you do not possess!

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-10-29 13:35

      mshiniboys: You are quite right: Thinking is a skill. I suggest you try it sometime. If you had a yelling, angry, crowd of hooligans rushing at you, armed with sticks, clubs, machetes, knives and possibly firearms - please enlighten us by describing what your actions would be. Man, oh man, South Africa is heading downhill so darned fast!

      mshiniboys - 2012-10-29 14:31

      nrgx.nrg probably you posses one or half but I was not talking to you lousy bat.

      mshiniboys - 2012-10-29 14:38

      brian.connell.18 give yourself sometime to use your brains.My point is you can not be "the one with weapons" yet be the ones getting shot dead.You just need to agree that police had weapons.About hooligans yeah angry hooligans like the ones arrested at train stations trying to plant bombs should be shot dead too hey.

      claudia.meads - 2012-10-29 15:51

      mshiniboys, FACT: The mineworkers (and the other hangers-on goons) stormed/attacked the police with pangas (viz the same weapons that brutally killed two policeman days before). SPECULATION: All the other prattle in this case. The law has a solid precursor - i.e.: ignorantia juris non excusat. While you vividly demonstrated your "thinking skills" (viz the lack thereof), it was equally the case on 16 Aug 2012 at Marikana - ie if an armed person/s attack the police, the police have a legal imperative to revert to the force associated with self-defence. Iow if you attack the police and you get shot, then you cannot be perplexed in any way re the consequences - ie ignorantia juris non excusat, "ignorance does not excuse you from the course of the law"...

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-10-29 12:50

    *yawn* The outcome of this is almost a given already. The Police will be made out to be the villains even though they were protecting their own lives because the mob was going to attempt to kill the lot of them.

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-10-29 13:36

      My support is to the police.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-10-29 12:59

    Actually the reporters can give an account.

      Kalari - 2012-10-29 13:19

      My thoughts also. The guys who filmed the miners storming the police, they saw what happened. But asking them to testify will not fit the agenda.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-10-29 13:33

      Exactly. The miners are to blame here, 120%. I feel rocks for them. I also think it's hilarious that their own leaders are the owners of these places... hilarious. Not death, the stupidity of people.

  • gert.swart.393 - 2012-10-29 12:59

    What will happen to me if I charge an attack police with knives and pangas? I will be shot - and rightly so. Why must thee miners be treated differently by the police? They put police officers lives in danger. The policemen had no other choice but to defend themselves.

      Jaap - 2012-10-29 13:11

      Gert, the SAPS members that were involved in the self defense actions are now treated like they are the criminals and the real criminals are treated as the "poor victims" These so-called mine workers are the cause of all the trouble and are still causing trouble now!

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-10-29 13:13

    oh apartheid government dirty tricks

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-10-29 13:36

      oh anc logic! (or lack thereof)

      brian.connell.18 - 2012-10-29 13:38

      WTF!!! What on earth are you talking about? Do we have a 'shadow' apartheid government that no-one knows about? Or are quite rightly pointing out that the ANC government is playing the same sort of game?

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-29 13:16

    When you kill others don't be surprised if the Police want to arrest you. Being a witness for another incident won't stop you from being prosecuted.

  • bdanney - 2012-10-29 13:18

    The tax payer already paid for the bullets, honestly we do not need to waste more money on an inquiry. I saw with my own two eyes what happened, a group with weapons charged a bunch of Police officers. Now I am not genius but I know that, that is a bad idea. Thanks to this bunch of miners the rand has lost value and the petrol price is at an all time high. Charge them and lock 'em up. Enough with the strikes now and lawless behaviour now.

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-29 13:33

    These miners are nothing short of terrorists....and we do not negotiate with terrorists, period. I wish Lonmin would really drive home a point and reward those miners who chose not to strike, chose to obey law and order, and chose sanity over insanity. Lastly, I am still of the opinion that it is close to a miracle that the SAPS members responded that quickly to the calls to 'cease fire', or there may have been 3 times that many deceased when the dust settled. Criminality in all forms must be routed out and destroyed.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-29 13:50

      They qualify as Economic Terrorists. I agree we need law and order in our country.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-29 13:34

    Why the F*&K does News 24 Always remove my comments??? It really pisses me off that there are far worse comments on this site then mine but this is about the 12th time that a comment of mine has been removed!!! Anyway GO SAP, if I had 3000 people running at me trying to kill me I would shoot to kill as well and I am sure every other South African out there would do the same thing!

  • mzondistanley - 2012-10-29 13:36

    Go colser and find a solution!! It is Shameful to be both unco-operative and still use pain and not the Laws of the Land as an excuse for Anarchy!! Marikana Miners Families to encourage their Loved ones to understand the Intricasies of the Law and how to Bargain for Public Money where the Company Owner reserves the right to walk away with his Money!! Marikana Miners have gone on the record as Difficult and Ignorant People to deal with!! Since they can not take No for an answer!! The only option acceptable to Marikana Miners is to Chase the Employer away but does that solve the Problem of Exploitation Employers and cry for better Wages? Deffinately not!! Mphofu you are more of a Political un guided Misiles than a part of a Solution to the Marikana Miners!! You are using Marikana Family Members for your game of scoring cheap Political points than Helping those who are ignorant of the Law!! You nare Exploiting them for personal good!! We all know you!!!!!

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-10-29 13:50

    Bloody circus! If you look for trouble you will find it! Dont cry when you reap that which you have sown. Why must millions be spent on the families to attend and wail?

  • phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-29 13:51

    Arrest them they are bloodless killers that want sympathy from the ANC / TOI TOI and kill his own tribe members infront of the TV cameras do not think they will be caught ne !!!!!!!!!!! POLICE give them SAMBOK their ears are to small to hear and no self discipline / what happend to VIVA the Fat SPEAR

  • mlungisi.kunene - 2012-10-29 13:56

    Most of the comments are racially motivated..i am shocked to see that even the promising educated minds still see color before a human being..shame on you!! these irresponsible citizens are cultivating a deeply entrenched racist culture which will led to grave consequences in our society.

      phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-29 14:06

      No no kunene what happend in marikana have nothing to do between white and black but black against black / black klux klan babaric TOI TOI for what just for the mines to retrenhed more people after words that is dumb sick move to play !!! Wake up

      Jaap - 2012-10-29 14:07

      Where do you read the racial comments Kunene? Maybe that is what you want to read. It's time for your ABET classes, now hurry or you will be late again!

      Cameron - 2012-10-29 14:54

      PLs enlighten me to these so called racial comments you so refer to?

  • sifiso.mabizela.1 - 2012-10-29 13:59

    ok go and release them Mr. Mpofu

  • kitty2wp - 2012-10-29 14:01

    listen, if the damned government put those unions in their place and the mineworkers obeyed the law the police wouldn't have been forced into a split decision. we are all huma - no blue uniform and badge makes us superhuman. the fault here lies with the government not taking a stance, sitting back and dealing with problems after they arise instead if stepping up and getting involved to diffuse the situation. The damned army should've been called in as a scare tactic - criminals don't give a damn about a blue uniform!!!!!!

  • maropola.nkitsing - 2012-10-29 14:32

    Vlakplas commanders back again otherwise they were never fired. Good on tricks yee

  • NKAISANA - 2012-10-29 16:56

    Lets start war with police wives,children nd cee who will win I am quite sure this police will resign if we take fight to their family

  • jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-10-30 02:07

    'Not only does this deprive us of witnesses... but is a reign of terror' Well well well now. This from the man who made a name for himself by defending Winnie Mandela in the case of 14 year old 'Stompie' Sepei who was killed because he witnessed things others wanted to hide. This of course is the same Winnie Mandela who called for a reign of terror with tires and matches. So listen here Mr Dali - you walking talking sack of stinking hypocrisy - it may have been easy to screw Nelson Mandela's wife when he was on Robben island - and help yourself to loads of his wifes's ill gotten cash but we can see right through you. And you know what we see ?. A tsotsi !!!!!!

  • ntemi.mark - 2012-10-30 21:39

    south africa needs a very strong minister of police,how on earth protesters carry all sorts of weapon when they march? &then there's absolutely nothing being said about them,the only thing that is on the table now is blaiming the police,the minister of police is really a Crap!

  • natasha.sutton.399 - 2012-10-30 22:55

    My question is why were the photos of the dead policeman who were hacked to death kept out of the public eye, pretty simple, then the media sensationalism would be have been affected. From what I could see (from TV coverage) was that our police force had not been properly trained for crowd control, MAYBE THE ''3RD FORCE'' IS OPERATING AGAIN (AFTER 28 YEARS). In summing up, a lot of people lost their lives for nothing - the individuals who incited this violence are the ones that should be brought to book. THE MOVER ACP

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