Marikana massacre: Former deputy police commissioner, three cops acquitted

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Miners sing and dance during the commemoration of the 2012 Marikana massacre in August 2016.
Miners sing and dance during the commemoration of the 2012 Marikana massacre in August 2016.
Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld, Gallo Images
  • Former deputy police commissioner in the North West and three other senior officials have been acquitted on charges relating to the death of a miner in a police van. 
  • The men were acquitted by the North West High Court on Monday. 
  • The National Prosecuting Authority says it will study the judgment to make an informed decision. 


The former deputy police commissioner in the North West, General William Mpembe, and three other senior police officers have been acquitted on all three charges relating to the August 2012 Marikana massacre.

Mpembe, along with his co-accused, Brigadier Jacobus van Zyl, Brigadier Dingaan Madoda, and Lieutenant-Colonel Oupa Pule, faced a charge of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly concealing information about the murder of Modisaotsile van Wyk Segalala.

Segalala died in a police van after miners participated in a wage strike on 16 August 2012.

READ | Marikana: 136 recommendations by expert panel for reforms in SAPS

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the men were also acquitted on charges of contravening the IPID Act by not reporting the death of a miner in police custody, and also of contravening the Commission's Act by not disclosing the death of Segalala in their report.

He said the NPA will study the judgment, "... in order to make an informed decision".

Mpembe is, however not off the hook yet. 

He has a separate case relating to the deaths of several miners and two police officers in Marikana in August 2012.

The trial against Mpembe and his co-accused retired Colonel Salmon Vermaak, Constable Nkosana Mguye, and Warrant Officers Katlego Sekgweleya, Masilo Mogale, and Khazamola Makhubela is expected to continue in April.   

Mpembe faces four charges of murder for the deaths of Semi Jokansi, Thembelakhe Mati, Hendrick Monene and Sello Lepaaku. 

He is also facing five charges of attempted murder, while his co-accused are facing one count of murder.

In addition, Mpembe and Vermaak are also each facing a charge of defeating the ends of justice and another of giving false information.  


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