Radebe commended for Marikana query

2012-09-01 12:14

Johannesburg - The Office of the ANC Chief Whip commended Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Friday for asking the NPA to explain why Lonmin mineworkers had been charged with murder.

"The National Prosecuting Authority's explanation to the minister will assist all of us to understand how the arrested miners should legally shoulder the sole responsibility for the tragedy that befell the Marikana community," said the ANC Chief Whip's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

He said the minister had the right to seek clarification on the matter on behalf of the public.

Police shot dead 34 striking mine workers and wounded 78 while trying to disperse them on August 16. Another 270 were arrested and charged with public violence.

On Thursday, the NPA said the miners would also be charged with murder and attempted murder for the deaths of their colleagues.

Later on Thursday, Radebe called on acting National Director of Prosecutions, advocate Nomgcobo Jiba to explain the murder charges.

"There is no doubt that the NPA's decision has induced a sense of shock, panic and confusion within the members of the community and the general South African public," he said.

"It is therefore incumbent upon me to seek clarity on the basis upon which such a decision is taken."

The decision to charge the miners has been condemned by several organisations.


The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) said it was shocked by the NPA's decision.

"Casac condemns the NPA for acting in a partisan, perverse and irrational manner in bringing charges of murder against the people arrested at Marikana," said its spokeswoman Masutane Modjadji.

"We are shocked that the NPA has seen fit to make use of the notorious legal concept of 'common purpose' to lay these charges and thereby seek to lay the blame for the massacre at the hands of the protesting workers."

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it was outraged by the decision.

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said it exposed the lack of proper training within the SA Police Service and the NPA for failing to find evidence and charge those responsible for the offence.

Law expert Pierre de Vos said the decision was "shameful".

"... They have acted with fear, favour and prejudice to advance some or another political agenda, further eroding the little trust South Africans might still have left in them," he wrote in a blog on Thursday night.

"It is, indeed, shameful."

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-09-01 12:31

    i also commend the Minister too, good move - to think that cops shot at those people and no cop has been charged as yet but the same people who were shot at are now facing murder charges, its very strange.Also agree with Patrick Craven

      goyougoodthing - 2012-09-01 12:42

      The miners were armed, they had killed 10 people, They deserve what they got. The minister should no intervene in the judiciary.

      iceman196 - 2012-09-01 12:58

      so its ok to hack police officers and security personel to death and attack the police but the second the police retaliate and fight back it becomes an issue, omg you anc lot really are dumb

      john.pope.75491 - 2012-09-01 12:59

      Tshepo-I know that everybody thinks that it is a stupid decision to lock them all up..BUT..It is said that many were shot in the back and firearms were found amongst the mob. Has anybody stopped to think that the "comrades" may have shot each other in the back, and not the police...Wakey Wakey people, and stop trying to score cheap political points...let the police finish their investigation, then talk..

      iceman196 - 2012-09-01 13:00

      craven is a play play commie wannabee scape goat whom cosatu will kick out after he takes the blame for it all, just watch,

      enlightened.bowman - 2012-09-01 17:11

      AAAAAAAAAAhh tshepo is JUlis Malema wearing a black diamond oufit for halloween. With brainless comments like this in a public places, he could make president

      jerry.medina.756 - 2012-09-01 18:12

      Now we know ANC ordered those killings, there's more to this than we think we know.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-01 12:32

    I then pose the question-how would the miners actions be explained. Does dissatisfaction with your place of work entitle you to come armed to an illegal strike? Do the police officers who died,not have a voice? As a S.A citizen,I would expect my husband,son or co-worker to have their "murder" investigated and dealt with just like any other. This intense sympathy for the miners is just opening the door for further out of control behaviour. Bottom line is,they were striking illegally,armed and people died as a result.

      joe.irwin.50 - 2012-09-01 13:16

      Well said Shirley.

      lionel.defrontignac - 2012-09-01 13:43

      They cannot be charged with the murder of their co-workers, since the police will say these killings were lawful; murder is defined as "the deliberate unlawful killing of another human" - this doctrine of common purpose works in a shootout where someone is unlawfully killed, and where the perps have associated with someone who is armed and where deadly results can be foreseen..

  • Zukile Marcus - 2012-09-01 12:33

    its not only their colleagues that died; how this whole thing unfolds just make no sense. there's too much in it than the news we are getting

  • sean.bagley.50 - 2012-09-01 12:35

    It's called "Joint Enterprise" in case you fools don't know what that means. Groups of people who exhibit the intention to be violent and life-threatening should be held responsible for the consequences thereof.Armed rioters have no place in civil society because of their actions. Charging armed miners intent on harming others,in Marikana's case police officers, should be locked up. Common law is for transferred malice,which means a charge that appears warranted. People are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities. Bottom-line is that the police are there to protect and serve their communities and if that means opening fire on a rampaging mob with machetes,pangas and knobkerries then so be it. If this was indeed a legitimate industrial dispute, then why do you go into a legitimate industrial dispute brandishing machetes? If this had been a peaceful protest then no one would have died, the miners brought offensive weapons to the strike and got killed for their charging the police line. Everybody should have the right to withdraw their labour with any Company they unhappy with, but you can't go threatening the lives of other people that simply disagrees with you.

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-09-01 12:40

      At last someone with sense!!!!!!!

      joe.irwin.50 - 2012-09-01 13:19

      Hear hear.

      lionel.defrontignac - 2012-09-01 13:46

      You are missing the simple point, and that is the State has to prove the killings were unlawful - in other words, the State will have to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the Police Action was illegal???

      pieter.calitz - 2012-09-01 13:58

      #Lionel. That is not too difficult to prove. All they have to prove is... 1. Were the miners armed? 2. When they descended from the hill, did they turn towards the police line to confront them or did they turn away from the police line to avoid the police. And then circumstantial evidence....did they kill before (remember the 10 people?) Did they use muti to protect them from police...thus indicating that they getting ready to do battle.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-09-01 12:40

    I think that the majority of South Africans think that the miners were wrong the moment that they picked up weapons. By buying muti to stop them being shot one can assume they were happy to engage in actions which may lead to being shot. For these reasons, and for the 10 murdered earlier in the strike, the miners are complicit in the actions of the police and should be charged as such. End of. No one feels sorry for them except people trying to score political points.

  • luke.dekoker - 2012-09-01 12:50

    The NPA must charge the union bosses who organised the strikes..if there was not a strike, the hooligans would not have come armed to an illegal strike.

  • clarence.esau - 2012-09-01 12:53

    If the Minister of Justice has to ask this question PUBLICLY, then what's up???

  • clarence.esau - 2012-09-01 12:54

    I would still like to know why NOBODY has the sensitivity, the patience and the RESCPECT, simply to wait for the findings of the judicial enquiry before making pronouncements OR taking ill-advised decisions regarding appropriate action.

      jimzimbo - 2012-09-01 13:00

      The ANC play that card only when asked a potentially incrininating question.

  • jimzimbo - 2012-09-01 12:59

    ANC playing games it wasn't us....

      sefako.mokgalaka - 2012-09-01 13:22

      There are so many experts who seem to know every topic from politics, law, accounting ,economics ,international relations and a lot more. Remember they are educated few.

  • Mandla - 2012-09-01 12:59

    u guyz know it better than me that when the ruling party is changing to detactorship creating fear is the first step,then devide people into olderone(they use call them wisemen)which mean all what they say is wealthy for consideration,now u must make sure when you go on strike the kill somebody because you are authomatically a killer wow time are changing fast.**pryng**

  • Mandla - 2012-09-01 13:00

    u guyz know it better than me that when the ruling party is changing to detactorship creating fear is the first step,then devide people into olderone(they use call them wisemen)which mean all what they say is wealthy for consideration,now u must make sure when you go on strike the kill somebody because you are authomatically a killer wow time are changing fast.**pryng**

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 13:19

    The detention sounds more like revenge,and has nothing to do with justice.Out of so many protesters ,it wud b virtually impossible to prove who the killers were.34 slaves have been killed as a reprisal.Let it be.

  • lionel.defrontignac - 2012-09-01 13:40

    It is a strange charge; on the other hand why doesn't he query the cases where the NPA have inexplicably dropped charges against some of his pals...

  • michael.moolman.7 - 2012-09-01 13:40

    Thankfully we find someone with 'stones' big enough to file these charges, to follow them through; and there is a ruling which causes all people the think! first and behave responsibly. And maybe, just maybe, I remain ever hopeful, that through mutual respect for one another and fair justice for all we may never repeat this recent sad event such as those at the Marikana mine.

  • chadjason.wilson - 2012-09-01 14:07

    When I read the comments and see the thumbs up I realize just how barbaric some White South Africans are.

      john.pope.75491 - 2012-09-01 14:13

      And just how barbaric, uneducated, uncivilized, inhumane and downright racist some others are..pot and kettle situation ..or what brother....??

  • vuyodoc.bikitsha - 2012-09-02 08:52

    we can only commend Jeff Radebe if his statement is not another public relations exercise to excorsice the ANC government from blame for the massacre and the ludicrous charges. The charges incomparable with the 'apartheid style common purpose doctrine of the hanging judges. The apartheid authorities wold charge with 'common purpose muder' only if you were in the or near a group that is suspected of of public violence murder and not a group that has has survived death and sustained injuries and injustices. The 'police' planned the Marikana massacre and have acted with the authority of a repressive capitalist state apparatus in defending the greedy and violent interests of the capitalist ruling class the ANC government is propping.

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