Zuma will not free Marikana miners

2012-09-01 18:32

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma will not release 270 arrested Marikana mine workers as their lawyers had requested, the presidency said on Saturday.

"The President cannot accede to the demand," said presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj in a statement.

"President Zuma will not interfere in the work of the Marikana Commission or any other processes, including the prosecution of persons associated with the tragedy."

On Friday, the miners' lawyers reportedly sent a letter to the president, requesting that he release the 270 Marikana miners by 13:00 on Sunday.

The City Press reported that if their request was not met, Zuma would face an urgent high court application compelling him to release the miners.

Maharaj said the president would respect the independence of all institutions. "Including those in the legal sphere, which need to execute their responsibilities without fear, favour or interference," he said.

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.

  • chule.qalase - 2012-09-01 18:45

    Am not surprised by all this!!

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-09-01 18:49

    Zuma is showing that he does have knackers.........excellent !!

      boltonbarry - 2012-09-01 19:20

      I think he recently found them though and is still a little surprised that they are there in the first place

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-09-01 21:01

      Nonseense, he simply not making a decision and Maharaj(corrupt criminal that he is) is dressing it up as a decision.

      tw2066 - 2012-09-02 13:01

      someone going to paint those knackers again!!!

      nina.ignjatov - 2012-09-02 20:44

      The miners have been released !!! Today! And the Marikana Mine is owed by Ramaposa 80%!!! This is all just politics, Malema behind it all!!!

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 18:52

    This is a hypocritic process.If the standpoint is to charge the miners,then why are nly 269 being charged.Charge all of them??

      gwilym.howes - 2012-09-01 20:13

      Well there is obviously a reason why these persons were charged. Possibly they were the ones present when the initial murders took place, or whatever, but surely even you can understand that the crimes were not all committed by the entire group. There WILL be a reason why these ones in particular were charged.

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-09-01 20:40

      @ gwillin, The reason is simply opportunistic. These were the one arrested after the massacre. I don't see how the case is winnable though, you cannot charge a group collectively for murder, you would have to charge them individually, and proof your burden individually, for each.

      johan.maree.5036 - 2012-09-01 22:53

      @Gerald, Its name is the "dolus eventualis law",I only found out about it the last couple of day, it basically states that if you are part of a group going to cause trouble, and you know people might get killed, you can be charged for murder if someone actually does die... strange law, but it is still a legit law.

      ft.burhaak - 2012-09-02 03:35

      It may be legit,but holds as much water as a siff!

  • abe.botha.5 - 2012-09-01 18:56

    From Freedom fighter to Opressor in one day. True colours of the ANC is starting to show. Its all about power. They care nothing for the people. I hope we will see some mass action in Soweto just like 1976

  • christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-09-01 18:57

    error by error by error is this war or political suicide ? In any case , its now out of his control

  • Theuns Konig - 2012-09-01 19:00

    Mr Zuma your my hero today!!

      thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-09-03 11:23


  • mlulami.dike - 2012-09-01 19:02

    Heee madoda! ai ai aii,our president is a joke..finish and klaar!!

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-09-01 19:03

    For the first time since JZ became president, doing nothing is the right thing to do!

  • cornelius.ncube2 - 2012-09-01 19:03

    Excellent Zuma.There are courts to deal with this issue.Dont accede to any pressure JZ.Let the law take its course.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 19:08

    Absolutely the right decision. We cannot allow those behind scene operatives like Julius Malema to undermine this country further. The lawyers should by now know that the President of this country does not sign the detention warrants or tell the magistrade to do it. There is absolutely no evidence of it so far. The police were not part of some complot against the miners. They would have been killed en masse.

  • ryan.eunson - 2012-09-01 19:09

    Good on you Zuma, just one more favour though...make it 271 now by adding Malema to the guilty list.

      michael.rampatla - 2012-09-01 20:19

      What has malema done to you and your to deserve this hatred

      tobydt - 2012-09-01 20:33

      michael - Malema and his continued hate speech towards white people? Playing with your emotions by blaming the 'boere' for the massacre. Got a clue yet?

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 19:11

    The common purpose red herring! If you knowingly and purposefully participate in an illegal act that you know and/or reconcile with will lead to human death you are guilty of murder even if your co-criminals are the victims of the foreseen actions. If you and your pal decide to rob a garage store and you know that the likely reaction could kill your pal as well as other innocents caught up in it you are guilty of their murders and the murder of your pal as a result of the owner or a bystander shooting him. General principles of criminal law make it clear. Common purpose itself is not the problem. It says no more than that it is deduced that the perpetrators all had the same purpose with their actions. Unfortunately it was elevated to a legal principle to attribute guilt or guilty knowledge to facts instead of requiring the prosecution to prove the actual presence of common purpose in the minds of each accused. Go to the criticism of the rule in De Wet & Swanepoel's Strafreg ed 1 throuth to 3. And never throw old textbooks away. It was NOT a so-called Apartheid rule. The rule or description goes back to old English commom law. The problem with our current law graduates and their lack of appreciation of law is getting more apparent. It includes the lot in the NPA. But, as said. Let's not now throw out the baby with the bathwater. The actual evidence should be sufficient to prove the case of murder against all of the accused. Arrest the rest!

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 22:23

      @ QuickQuirky Please acquaint yourself with issues. And then just shut up. Because if you display your misunderstanding you have only yourself to blame.

      Ntambolicous - 2012-09-01 22:38

      When you arrest someone you do it by the book if not then don't and I doubt if protocol was applied during the arrest catredgises were shown to the president by miners. So much for securing the crime scene even a blind can see this case flawed.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 22:39

      @ Listen QuickQiuirky I was going through the comments here when yours suddenly struck me as peculiar in that you seiously challenge the likes of De Wet and Swanepoel, brilliant jurists. You like references to more such brilliant legal brains and brilliant judges? You are plain stupid for the sake of being stupidely noticeable.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 22:53

      @ QuickQuirky My IQ was measured reliably and that is probably the reason that I will never stand back for anybody else.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 22:55

      Now you little brilliant moonshine, Exactly what is it that you have a problem with? De Wet and Swanepoel?

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 23:15

      @ QuickQuirky Your name gives you away, little piggy. LOL! C'mon my little fat piggy! But I still love your mother. We pigs have a long lasting sexual experience if we put our minds to it. Love you - oops, don't get excited - your mother will clarify it all. Just ask her. Is she still so lovely fat? We clearly have some very interesting conversations still to come.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 23:26

      @ QuickQuirky What exactly is your problem with the legal position? I just love such debates.

      juannepierre - 2012-09-02 04:55

      Besides the bickering (you two are like women in a salon fighting over the last curler) @crracker. What you say makes sense, encouraging someone to march to their death is the same as pulling the trigger. I still don't think it's the same here. Then the unions should be charged. @quickquirky. In a debate, you would loose. Why? You lack real points. I wish you had a few, would have made for an interesting read. Try formulate an opinion when commenting.

      chadjason.wilson - 2012-09-02 07:02

      Crracker read up on EQ... you might need some help there

      chadjason.wilson - 2012-09-02 07:28

      Now... 1) Were the miners forced into a corner, thus insinuating that they (the miners) did not wish to attack, rather escape? 2) When looking at the evidence on camera will it show that the police began shooting from behind their armoured vehicles first, thus forcing the miners towards the bulk of the armed police? 3) Were rubber bullets used? 4) Why did the police continue to fire for three minutes? 5) Every time a citizen carries a traditonal weapon to a gathering does it suggest common purpose? 6) Were all the miners armed? 7) Were the miners intent on fighting the police or did the police force the issue? 8) Do I have a right to carry arms? 9) Who/ What created the standoff? 10) If a person shoots at a policeman fron the crowd does that give the policeman a right to shoot into the crowd? 11) Am I intent on violence because I am carrying a weapon? 12) Did the 270 miners intend violence that day? 13) What type of murder charge is it? I am sure the defence is going to do a hell of alot better than me... if it ever gets that far

      chadjason.wilson - 2012-09-02 07:33

      Finally was it not the police that were guilty of common purpose? Did they not go there with the attitude of dissolving the protest no matter what the consequences?

  • jimzimbo - 2012-09-01 19:12

    The masses, that is the South African electorate, deserve the government that they elect into power. This electorate has had almost 20 years of 'freedom" to elect whoever they choose.......that choice has and will continue to be the ANC. Removing Zooma alone will not improve the plight of South Africans because the custodians of the current ANC are incompent and rotten to the core. The masses have got themselves into this mess.....

      christiaanoosthuizen - 2012-09-01 19:29

      Did it every strike you that with the ANC they actually freed you from freedom ? --------- Loki

  • PETESKEAT - 2012-09-01 19:23

    If the lawyer in question had indeed asked the President to release those charged, that means either one of two things. 1) He is playing to the gallery, knowing that the courts are independent of the presidency. 2)He is a patently incompetent jurist, not knowing that the courts are independent of the presidency.

      lmanonose - 2012-09-02 12:57

      I think he is a fake lawyer.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 19:38

    There is not the slightest indication that these miners r linkd to the murders.They r in jail nly cause they cudnt run fast enuf!at least give them bail,and stop the oppression!!!

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 19:50

      The evidence will determine the outcome. Not propagandistic rubbish like yours here. We saw the videos (they were not state altered or state monitored or state censored). it was a deliberately planned attack on the state.

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-01 21:07

      @cracker,Why prevent bail,where will they dissapear?and the footage that u so religiously confide in,is only ONE dimensional.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:13

      Don't grab at straws. The legal pocess is still underway. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE of irregularities so far or interference from higher up. But you are trying to create that impression.

      J.A.Rademan - 2012-09-01 21:44

      Guilt by association is nothing new. In other words if your friend pitch up with pangas, knobkierries, spears and muti. GO HOME, because if you stay and someone gets hurt or dies you by association are going to be in the sh#t. Who knows if the ones in jail were not the true instigators. Let the law take its course. Zuma for once is honouring our constitution by allowing the RULE BY LAW principal take its course. The lawyers of the defendants know they are in trouble and pulled a "political" stunt to see if they could get Zuma to cave in a very sensitive election period. Maybe for once he had some good sense not to be caught with his d#ck out again. KUDUS JZ

  • mknnko003 - 2012-09-01 19:42

    Zuma is part of the executive branch and we also have the parliament and the Judiciary which is handling this matter. Zuma cannot get involve because the Constitution forbids him to interfere in the work of the Judiciary as hence; he cannot.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 19:56

      It is all part of that arch enemy of democracy Julius Malemaa who is now driving his hatred through the legal process to get at Zuma. Julius Malema promised the miners at Aurora that he would appoint lawyers to get the liquidators to pay the miners first before the other creditors. (He made his messianic appearance to the miners 4 years after the problems and hardships to the minest started.) Whatever the merits of what he had in mind for them, the LAW says who will get preferentially paid. He can appoint as many lawyers as he likes, the law will not be altered because his appointed lawyers say so. Another example of the lies and deceit going on among politicians.

      keith.ngobeni - 2012-09-01 20:50

      @nkosinathi illiteracy and lack of knowledge is big factor in our black communities that's why you see so many people like Julius bashing Jacob Zuma for the idiocy displayed by those miners, these are the same people who believes that democracy is about earning three figure salaries without any sorts of academic qualifications and because of their black skin colour the government owes them something, it's what triggered the whole aggression behaviour of these miners, God bless our country we have got a big job ahead of us to educate our societies.

  • ntsunyane.frederick - 2012-09-01 19:47

    Do we ask the courts or president to release people waiting for trial?Please,please this is not a banana country.Executive,judiciary and legislative powers are separated.

      mknnko003 - 2012-09-01 19:52

      At-least somebody has knowledge that these are three separated branches than most ignorant and misguided comments above.

      Erna - 2012-09-01 20:30

      That's how it's supposed to be I agree but sometimes I wonder if the powers that are realise this!

  • mzukisijola.jose1 - 2012-09-01 19:56

    Guess where the majority of the mines comming from ? Eastern cape so is zuma cares

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-09-02 08:59

      Try that in English please.

  • thabo.modiba.7 - 2012-09-01 20:14

    What is the purpose of the judicial commission of inquiry if there are people behind bars ? I am not an expect but common sense tells me there is a big confusion.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 20:56

      The JC will "probe the conduct of Lonmin Plc", "the conduct of the South African Police Service", "the conduct of the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, (AMCU), their members and officials", "the role played by the Department of Mineral Resources or any other government department or agency". So the commission is about the behaviour of organisations. The individual people arrested are not part of the investigation. They are part of the legal process.

      thabo.modiba.7 - 2012-09-01 21:35

      @ lacrimose.wolf - Thank you for the clarity. In line with the knowledge you gave me, this means Sangoma will also be in that list.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 21:54

      @tahbo - I read the guidelines again after your post. Sadly no mention of Sangoma. He is very well organised but not an organisation. So I guess he will have to be part of the legal process. If they can find him...

  • FinalJustice - 2012-09-01 20:22

    There's 1 thing that distinguishes SA from all other African countries; The government is not the richest/most influential institution, and this alone constitutes our economic survival, but unfortunately also a great deal to the current national state of affairs. The ANC's demands are burdening the mining indusrty more and more every year, with the sole purpose of enriching the elite role players. It may just be a matter of time untill the floor folds in beneath them.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-09-01 20:28

    Apparently the sangoma is advertising another type of muti, if you apply it you become invisible. They'll be able to walk out of jail and no one will notice. This one is a bit more pricey though,seeing that the petrol price is going up. Its going for a whopping R2000. Please hurry, stocks are limited.

  • annette.vorster.54 - 2012-09-01 20:39

    Zuma will not interfere? Please pull the other one! With the police, justice, legal system, the way he was elected, I have the feeling we are being controlled by a terrorist organisation ... support and vote for me or you die! . . . .john vorster

  • gngaleka - 2012-09-01 20:56

    Why on earth would one ask the excecutive authority to overule the judiciary, that would be unconstitutional. We must'nt ask the presidency to make unconstitutional decisions only when it suits our agendas. The presidency has a country to run through upholding the constitution. Big up Lacrimose, i salute you on your open mindedness.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:21

      If there is evidence to show that the executive was interfering it would be justified if the whole country raised p in revolt. But there is absolutely NO such evidence. Only the suspicion seeding by the likes of some Zuma haters. They even appoint lawyers to write those learned sounding letters to the President. All to create a perception. The truth is that we have witnessed an attack on the sovereignty of the state.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 21:26

      :) thanks gngaleka. Reading across the news posts on this issue, I'm beginning to understand that not only LonMin but all the other protests and problems are because people do not understand how things are supposed to work in a democracy. So how is that to be fixed? If we don't, we will just go around in ever-increasing circles of madness

      Michael - 2012-09-02 10:32

      You deserve a bells!

  • nkululeko.mgijima - 2012-09-01 21:25

    How can you free people whilst you ,yourself are bound.If it was a dog ,the spca would have responded promptly.If it was a robber,the magistrate would have permitted a bail application.If it was a child ,the policewuold say that,we are still searching for the perpetraitors.Now its a mine worker no one is taking a blame,but the mine worker is blamed for going to the mountain.Justice where are you,come and free our people.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:40

      You think the police present should be exucuted or imprisoned for live?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 21:40

      Cheap shot comparing adult miners with dogs and children. Dogs and children have no means of protecting themselves. They need grown-up human beings to act on their behalf. Adult miners have not only cognitive ability but also a plethora of representatives, laws, processes and procedures to work through instead of climbing a hill, taking hallucinogenics and convincing themselves they are invincible. An adult can decide when and how far things are going to go and are responsible for the choices they make. A child or a dog is completely at the mercy of others to think and act for them. Or are you saying that the mine workers had no better capabilities than children or dogs?

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:42

      Correction: You think the police present should be executed or imprisoned for live?

  • omphile.umphimodise - 2012-09-01 21:39

    Zuma is the mistake that happened in Polokwane which will be corrected in Mangling.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-09-01 21:49

      At this stage one will have to place your money on Zuma. Don't sukkel with him! I am not a gambler by nature but I will start finding out tomorrow how to place a moderate bet on Zuma.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 21:57

      Had to smile at "Mangling". Guess your device's auto-correct kicked in trying to process Mangaung. Very appropriate though :)

      july.radebe - 2012-09-02 07:09

      Biggest mistake he is 4sho

  • Lee.CPT.ZA - 2012-09-01 22:12

    Although supportive of this decision, I can't help but realise that it is definitely not the popular outcome and why all of a sudden JZ is taking the righteous path, a path he has in the past blatantly ignored ?

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-01 22:20

      Because it's the law, and very obviously the law and any move by his good self or anyone else to circumvent that in any way will be political suicide. He still reserves the right to pardon them once they have been sentenced. There's a lot more to come in this movie. Right now it's all about strategy and misdirection whilst both the defence and prosecution build their cases. Long way until trial. And we all know how long trials take :)

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-02 01:25

      ...and because the law is not a popularity contest and we can thank goodness all N24 posters (myself incl) are not able to influence the judicial process. We'd be back to mob rule within a week

  • Ntambolicous - 2012-09-01 22:42

    As far as I am concerned the state can pull any law book press any charge they see fit. This case will go down in history as being flawed period.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-02 01:27

      The case has yet to be presented, let alone heard or judged. Yet you are already writing the history books.

  • Ntambolicous - 2012-09-01 23:05

    Many on this platform have previously raised your dissatisfaction with how justice system operates, it has failed to protect farmers, women and children from rape but today you come back to the same forum with the believe that the same justice system will give these miners a fair trial under common purpose. Amabherethe have time and again been perpetuating violence against ordinary folks in the township the same TRT used to shoot the miners, some of wonder why we are where we are as a nation and I say double check that mirror. Arrest them and kiss the mines goobye and the economy will come to it's knees because what happens to these miners will be of national interest and the reaction from the poor communities which raised these men who provide this cheap labour to the filthy rich mines will react and their reaction will impact heavily on the economy. But hey go ahead dig a hole bury the mining industry PS none of us shall see peace without equal rights and justice. Educated people are very very dumb when dealing with the uneducated. It's lawmakers only apply the law fáirly to those who can afford the law.

  • flower.fourie - 2012-09-01 23:44

    I just wish they would start reporting that; on the 16th of August the police returned fire during a protest at the lonmin mine illegal strike.

  • - 2012-09-02 00:25

    This tragedy is a sad reminder that war and civil strife have no winners. All those who sabre-rattle about war should check their misplaced thinking against this reality.

  • borie.styles - 2012-09-02 03:05

    Is the AMCU executive also under arrest or is it jus our poor fathers and brothers ? How about the cops who committed murder.

  • dmpakati - 2012-09-02 04:54

    Forcing President Zuma to release 270 miners is an act of desparation on lawyers representing the arrested miners. It's even worse when these lawyers are threatening to Zuma to court if he does not release these miners. One thing for sure, the president is not above the law. The lawyers should be realistic about their demand. They should rather challenge the murder charges against the miners.

  • nofikathiniskeyi.eunice - 2012-09-02 06:53

    mr president kuphelile ngawe nguwe wedwa onezwi lokugqibela kwelilizwe yenza ngalandlela wawenze ngayo kwityala lakho lorhwapilizo ngenelela ngenelela zuma

      Jasper Coetzee - 2012-09-02 07:16

      Interesting photo heading this article. Insider language. Wonder who at Lonmin is the listener?

      Phiwe Mazula'yithole Ximba - 2012-09-02 08:43

      usuthetha ububhanxa tyini u zuma akalokgqwetha

  • Maphola Mogale - 2012-09-02 07:18

    these matter should be reffered to the constitutional court ngaphandle kokungabata.

  • bongani.mahlangu.923724 - 2012-09-02 07:50

    No one is above the law,to our president the is nothing he can do, those lawyers must atleads face our justice system.Our president what to do now is to step down and his cruel cabinet

  • hlongwanech - 2012-09-02 07:54

    he is right he is aware of the situation in marikana that is politically motivated so he is trying to withdraw himself and he is the main cause of what happened in marikana .

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-02 08:00


  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-09-02 09:29

    why would anyone think that a President of a country would free cold blooded murderers after what they did - not to mention they made a mob attack on our SAPS.

  • lenox.ntlantsana - 2012-09-02 09:46

    How come Mr President if can release the most dreadful criminals!

  • beki.khumalo - 2012-09-02 10:01

    Good move Commander In Chief! Dali Mpofu and his friends must go back to Law School, their desperation is an insult to the profession, peroid.

  • spharex.cele - 2012-09-02 10:27

    lol the law above logic. i just love south africa

  • manduleli.maphala - 2012-09-02 10:57

    Labantu they are figthing amalungelo abo guyz amaphoyisa wona umangaba efuna irholo labolikhushulwe ancenga labantu for isupport.if u dont know about strike shut up .

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-09-02 11:22

    He cannot release miners bt cn arrange medical parole for Shabir Shaik..Marikana has divided South Africans as for the whites are happy bwt wht happened..Zuma be a man a release those people arrest. Cops who killed 34miners

  • prince.mangunda - 2012-09-02 11:23

    these miners must not be released we need the law to take its course without fear or favour!the president shld not interfere with the judiciary process!!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-02 12:47

    Zuma can't free his shirt caught in his zipper, so the miners don't make much change there.

  • solanga.maluleke - 2012-09-02 14:21

    Yes because they are from Pondoland not Zululand. Can't you see that Zuma is a president of Zulus where Zumaville will be build by other tribes.

  • manhanry - 2012-09-02 16:18


  • wayne.roach.731 - 2012-09-03 08:11

    Just so I understand... I can attend an illegal strike with illegal and traditional weapons, incite violence, refuse to listen to the police for two days, kill some of them, steal their weapons, charge at them as if I'm prepared to die and then shout FOUL when they retaliate. You F@#%ING morons.

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