Shots fired at Marikana police

2013-05-12 21:22
(File, supplied)

(File, supplied)

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Johannesburg - Police came under fire as they passed Wonderkop en route to a crime scene at the Nkaneng informal settlement near Marikana, North West police said on Sunday.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said Marikana police were called to a murder scene on Saturday evening.

"According to the members there were a lot of people gathered there and some started shooting at police and police responded [by firing live ammunition]."

He said the crowd dispersed and they proceeded to the scene.

"We have not received any reports of casualties."

Ngubane said the matter was also reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

When police arrived at the crime scene they found that two brothers were killed and two women were injured in a shooting.

Allegedly a group of armed men, wrapped in blankets and wearing balaclavas, stormed into a shack on Saturday night.

They apparently asked the two brothers - who were twins - about the whereabouts of another man.

Ngubane said when the brothers said they did not know the man, they were shot.

"The one brother who was shot two times died on the scene, while the other brother died on arrival at the Andrew Saffy hospital."

Two women who were in the shack at the time of the shooting were wounded.

One was shot in the thigh while the other was hit with a panga. They were taken to hospital and discharged on Sunday.

Amcu regional organiser

A North West regional organiser of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), identified as Steve Khululekile, was also shot an killed in the same area on Saturday evening.

Ngubane said four men, who on Saturday came to Billy's Tavern near Anglo Platinum's Khomanani mine shaft two in Rustenburg and shot and killed the 46-year-old man, remained on the run.

North West Premier Thandi Modise condemned the murders.

"Though nothing suggest that the two incidents that occurred near Anglo Platinum’s Khomanani mine and Nkaneng informal settlement near Marikana are connected, we wish to reiterate our earlier appeal for calm and call on police not to rest until those responsible for the callous murders are behind bars."

She appealed to members of the public to come forward with information that might assist police in their investigations.

Ngubane said the murders were being investigated and it would be too early to say if they were linked.

"That is still the subject of an investigation at this point. We do not want to preempt any of the outcomes."

The Amcu official had been expected to testify before the Farlam Commission, eNCA reported.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed in violence related to a strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August last year.

Jimmy Gama, Amcu's national treasurer, hinted in an interview with AFP that the assailants might have been NUM supporters.

"They were associated with another union... Of course there is one union that we are in competition with in this area."

The inquiry has already been clouded by other deaths.

In March, a traditional healer who had reportedly performed rituals that would protect striking miners before last year's clashes, was killed.

And two other witnesses have committed suicide, according to local media.

A NUM leader from the same area was shot dead at his house last October.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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