Release Marikana 4 - rights group

2012-10-25 07:28

Johannesburg - The four Lonmin miners arrested in connection with killings at the Marikana hostels must be released, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of SA (Seri) said on Wednesday.

"It appears, prima facie, that the arrested persons were targeted because they were assisting us at the commission," Seri attorney Teboho Mosikili said in a statement, referring to the Farlam judicial commission of inquiry.

"Seri can no longer, in good conscience, provide to the commission, or the parties to it, information relating to the identities of potential witnesses who may provide information and testimony adverse to the police."

He said the four people were helping them and the lawyers, led by advocate Dali Mpofu, for 275 arrested miners and the injured, in their work at the Farlam inquiry. It is investigating how and why 34 Lonmin mineworkers were shot dead in Marikana on August 16.

Fear of retribution

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane earlier denied that the miners were arrested because they intended giving evidence to the commission.

Mosikili said the arrests were affecting Seri's ability to prepare for the commission.

"It is no answer to suggest that the arrested persons will be made available for the parties to consult with, and to appear at the commission if necessary," he said.

"They are unlikely to do so without fear of retribution while in police custody."

Mosikili said they wrote to lawyers for the police and to the commission on Wednesday asking for their immediate release.

Seri would apply for the commission to be postponed, when it reconvened on Monday, should it not receive such an undertaking.

Police deny intimidation claims

Ngubane said the four were arrested at 15:00 on Tuesday in a vehicle as they were coming from the inquiry.

"In the past three weeks, four mineworkers were brutally murdered and police have been working tirelessly in their endeavour to arrest the perpetrators," he said at the time.

Mpofu told the commission on Tuesday that five of his witnesses, two of them key witnesses, had been arrested.

Ngubane denied this was an intimidation tactic.

"We are confident that there is evidence linking the arrested suspects to the killing of the victims," he said.

Last week, mineworkers at the Lonmin mine went on strike in protest against the arrests.
In all, eight people have been arrested for murders committed after the August 16 shooting.

  • andtowns - 2012-10-25 07:45

    Let's all kill people and walk free, now there's a good idea!! Idiots

      patrick.mbense - 2012-10-25 07:54

      They killed people! why the hell must they be released you hippys!!

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-25 08:27

      This was sarcasm Patrick, andtowns is also against it.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-10-25 08:31

      Yes save money convert prisons to walk in fall out taverns singing ..those where the days my friend ...

      luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-10-25 09:04

      I know of no other country where the government and police are so infested with criminals. Its really sad that we are ruled by incompetent criminals, but in the spirit of criminal and collapsed morality it only fair that these lawless miners be released, suits the over all mindset and behaviour of government. We need another 100years of democracy to filter out the rubbish, I trust with consistent pressure from opposition parties the average citizen will come to realize what integrity and good morals really mean, and they will start voting for it, but this will not happen in our lifetime.

      patrick.mbense - 2012-10-25 09:18

      haha! Deon im referring to the Socio-Economic Rights Institute as hippys and am fully aware of andtowns sarcasm but am now also aware of your level of intelligence.

      JuditVictor - 2012-10-25 12:47

      Listen, weren't people actually hacked to death by Panga? AND this is okay to be set free? My G-d, this country has lost its marbles.

  • Blixum - 2012-10-25 07:51

    Great manipulation and emotional powerplay being seen here. Reminiscent of the apartheid years. And another 'rights' group? (Seri) How many more 'rights' (sic) groups are there that we don't know about.

  • Ntshobs - 2012-10-25 07:52

    Intimidation is what the police do best, those arrested miners know that police don't twice if they want to kill you, they can do it anywhere even inside police cells. who would be free in this country to testify against police officers really.Nobody has been arrested for the murder of a tarven owner in the Western Cape who was killed soon after releasing tapes exposing police brutality on his customers. Those arrested miners are in the mercy police officers.

      luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-10-25 09:16

      Ntshobs, We live in a country where the majority of citizens believe in violence and they wont think twice before hacking someone to death with a panga or burning them alive(neckless). This type of citizen requires a police force that can hit back with equal and greater force, cause SA's history has proven that you cannot negotiate with these savages. When these masses rise up and strike violently and use this opportunity to vandalize, loot and murder then they have forfeited their right to democracy and should be shot on site, we can never negotiate with anarchists and murderers!

      Ntshobs - 2012-10-25 15:01

      @Luther,I'm not sure where did you get that there are people who forfeite their rights in a democratic country. You probably need to have your head examined.

  • adair.cross - 2012-10-25 07:52

    Release the suspects because in South Africa murder is not such a bad crime?Is everyone's minds @ucked up or is it just me?

  • prince.mathebula - 2012-10-25 07:54

    Why does it have to be all about miners only? What about the children who lost their fathers in persons of the police man killed by miners? Are they not important enough? Whoever has committed a crime should be punished no matter the reasons.

      christina.setloboko - 2012-10-25 11:20

      Seems like those 10 killed before by the miners don't matter any more, are they also included on this inquiry? or did they deserve to be killed, would like to know.

      steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-10-25 11:30

      The loss of one life is one too many. If I kill my neighbor, I have taken away someone's first and basic right - the right to life. My reasoning tells me that I have, by committing such a crime, given up on my own rights and should by dealt with swiftly and harshly by the laws governing any civilized country. Having said that, the way things are in this country, I also have the right to defend myself and my family against anyone wanting to attack me or my family.

  • warwick.railton.7 - 2012-10-25 08:04

    Do the crime, do the time and to hell with these tree hugging twits. A firm hand is what is needed with this rabble, not liberal hippies calling the shots. Get working or start starving; the world waits for no man or ideology.

  • helio.paulo.7 - 2012-10-25 08:04

    Murder is one gets away scott free.....these human rights advocates are taking a fat chance!

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-10-25 08:42

    Why must they be let free? If they were arrested it's for good reason. You may as well release anyone arrested for murder. What nonsense.

  • jannie.kotze.7 - 2012-10-25 08:42

    This is what you get when a government with no ethics and no morals rules (ruin) a country. The gov. is under the control of unions, communists and criminals.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-25 08:46

    Gotta love Africa. You kill someone and you must be set free. You idiots dunno what you want.

  • gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-10-25 08:52

    To Seri. TO you lot the policemen, security personnel and other miners alledgedly murdered by "miners" have no human rights, you bunch of hippocrites

  • kimard - 2012-10-25 08:52

    ya right - the joke continues :)

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-10-25 09:23

    The fact that we as South Africa need to come to terms with,is on that day of the mass killing of 34 human beings for what ever reason you pick and choose to justify it,34 human beings were gunned down, and fact,is that post apartheid SA crossed a line that day that itl never be able to return from.Punishing miners associated with that day wont change what happend.Except it and stop looking to punish indiuiduals as retribution.

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-10-25 09:24

    So miners can kill that's ok, but to kill aggressive miners that's murder. Maybe human rights are being taken to far. Seem to me only criminals have human rights.

  • beki.khumalo - 2012-10-25 09:35

    \Mpofu told the commission on Tuesday that five of his witnesses, two of them key witnesses, had been arrested.\ The North West police are applying Richard Mdluli tactics, dirty bastards! The timing of the arrests, just before the arrested individuals provide evidence to the commission, is reason to worry. And it's not like our SAPS are the most morally correct bunch! The thugs in blue are at it again! This is one twisted story, I look forward to the ending.

  • joshua.sematla - 2012-10-25 09:38

    I never liked these rights people..that's why SA is in such mess.. because of these so called rights groups

      phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-25 10:05

      Like wise because all your left groups (Blacks)can do is steal, murder, burn, toi toi, for this strike for that that is why the country is in this mess and you are part of this. Did your so right groups toi toi strike burning and murder after 1994 NO NO if you do not have proof keep your place your Malema Coward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Urhuru black racist group hate you to with Passion / all you can do is moan and deny deny deny blame apartheid wake up and do some this positve.

      phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-25 10:39

      In the news everyday thiefs breaking in and shot and kill white couple or and remove their belongings / BLACK. THIEFS / NO proof in news paper stated that White Thiefs breaking into black couple home and murders them for their belongings / please proof me wrong Joshua / black on black yes daily!!!!

  • jack.oosthuizen.1 - 2012-10-25 09:41

    Typical rubbish emerging from the masses. The are "alleged" hooligans and murderers, let the law runs it's course. If they are innocent, they will be freed, if not, then they must get what deserve. We must crack down on this mass protest and supporting your buddies that broke the law.

  • aspruyt - 2012-10-25 10:21

    Keep them locked up and throw away the keys! They were unprotected strikes and violent! Then they killed! The law is the law you hippies. Stop wasting tax money to investigate such rubbish. While you are at it disband all unions! We need a Margaret Thatcher...

  • Tello Moleko - 2012-10-25 10:38

    whats so special about those miners and who said witness cant be arrested?they have killed now must be released coz they have to go to the commission

  • steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-10-25 11:45

    Bottom line is, we are (as supposedly law-abiding citizens) governed by the laws of the land and are expected to uphold them. But, all the lawlessness and threatening anarchy going on at the moment, does very little to inspire any confidence for the future. We are forced to re-think our own security. There is very little confidence in the Justice system and the way it has been manipulated by the cANCer in it's efforts to hide all it's criminal activities and look after those untouchables. So what does the average citizen do? Arm oneself and trust that no-one decides to enter his/her space uninvited. Hell of a way to live and I am sure that it is the way that most people of all races in SA feel.

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