Presidency can't confirm Marikana ultimatum

2012-08-31 21:06

Johannesburg - The presidency could not confirm on Friday whether President Jacob Zuma had received a letter demanding the release of 270 arrested Marikana miners.

City Press reported on its website that the letter was sent to Zuma on Friday by the miners' lawyers, Maluleke, Msimang and Associates.

Zuma was asked to release the miners by 13:00 on Sunday or face an urgent High Court application compelling him to release them.

Maluleke, Msimang and Associates reportedly wrote that keeping the miners behind bars was "unlawful".

Justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said this would be an "extra-ordinary" request.

"If they are adopting that stance, it would be an extraordinary route to explore from a legal point of view," he said.

"We would expect them to approach the courts."

He said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe had not seen or received the letter.

"We'll have to wait and see the contents of the letter, because the minister is engaging with the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] with the view to understand their decisions on the charges."

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.

Initially, the arrested group was charged with public violence.

On Thursday, the 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.

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

Radebe invoked section 179 (6) of the Constitution, which states that the justice minister "must exercise final responsibility over the prosecuting authority".

  • Thoughtsandstuff - 2012-08-31 22:09

    Lol. Demands. Irony. Perhaps the law firm should apply for bail for their clients? Isn't that how it works? Or is there some special murderous miner loophole I haven't heard of?

  • prof.coetzee - 2012-08-31 22:43

    succumbing to such demands will not only inevitably result in the engenderment of a precedent that under certain special circumstances, certain acts of criminal behaviour can and should essentially be condoned - regardless of its nature or severity - but moreover fundamentally also implies the undermining of the justice system which inherently calls in question its outonomy, which i might add is definitely not advisable in order to ensure the continuation of democracy mr president, definitely not advisable!!

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-08-31 23:26

    Pure oppression of the poor.It is sad to c how on a daily basis ppl who comment here are so insensitive,detached and condecending towards the hardships and plight of the poor.The irony is we say a better life for all,and these ppl are in jail for wanting a better life.

      Gaby - 2012-09-01 01:01

      May I remind you that storming police, weapons in hand, is not wanting a better life. Nor is it a wage negotiation.

      EricksonTL - 2012-09-01 17:01

      fort my man, if you're a criminal, it doesn't matter whether you're poor or rich. You do the crime, you should do the time, not so? If you want a better life, then you should use the channels that everyone else does. Go to the labour court to challenge your employer. Take an ABET course and learn to read so you don't have to spend your life breaking rocks. Just like ignorance of the law is no defence, poverty cannot and should not EVER excuse a crime - particularly violent crime. If these miners had stolen bread to feed their families, I would be the first one to defence them. They didn't. They macheted innocent people to death, and burned others alive. Where is the justice for THOSE people, who were JUST doing their jobs? There comes a point where even a bleeding heart has to draw the line, and in this case, that line is clear.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-08-31 23:35

    These are hard working people and its this kind of injustice on them that frustrates and disillusions them that hard honest work gets u into jail,which contributes to the psychology,that they r better off robbing and stealing!unfrtnatly in SA 'cure' is the disease.

  • dawie002 - 2012-08-31 23:48

    Look at the idiot. Earthworm

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-01 01:05

      Next time you see a tortoise, take note of it's head. The resemblance is remarkable.

  • koos.vanrooyen.12 - 2012-09-01 00:05

    Kyk hoe maklik word 'n regering 'gedwing' deur die swartes om hul gemors van die strate, uit die tronk te laat. Wat doen ons boere - ons huil en bid en dan laat ons gaan - pateties! Meneer - as jy DINK dat jy 'n boer is in hart en siél, maar nie die moed het nie - kontak my DRINGEND - ÁSSEBLIEF!!!!

  • Gaby - 2012-09-01 01:05

    Thumbs up those who think Zuma will buckle because it is politically expedient/the right thing to do/good for getting re-elected/will help contain the strike from spreading. Thumbs down those who think Zuma will let the law run it's course.

  • nofikathiniskeyi.eunice - 2012-09-01 07:09

    hayi andiyazi le ilizwe eliqgwetheke ngale ndlela mongameli ngenelela kungade konakele okuninzi

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-09-01 08:15

    Anyone know whose running this country???

  • WilsoWill - 2012-09-01 08:21

    The presidency cannot confirm what 2 2 equals either

  • Nathi Shangase - 2012-09-01 09:42

    it seems in this country they ar ppl above the law ,shoot to kill doesnt work at all nd if contibues likes will ebdup i.e iraq ,somalia etc , wat prisons for if ppl done somethng wrong nd thy mus be killed

  • Nathi Shangase - 2012-09-01 09:44

    bcz two policies officers were killed does mean thy have to pay reveng why thy ddnt arrest suspects for murder frm the frst time in ordr go pay reveng how to trust policies this country thy ar ther to protect us bt now thy killing us

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-09-01 11:47

      I believe the police were trying to get the message across that they won't take crap from police murderers. Maybe protesters will think twice about arming themselves to the teeth and charging law 'enforcement' officers.

  • natasha.sturdy1 - 2012-09-01 11:17

    Why dont we hear anything about the 2 policeman and the 2 securities that were killed. What about their families?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-01 13:40

    The Presidency can't confirm that it has a front door. Nothing new here.

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