Home National Marikana Massacre | NPA ready to proceed on Marikana trial

Marikana Massacre | NPA ready to proceed on Marikana trial

by Thys Khiba
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MARIKANA

By Thys Khiba – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that they are ready to proceed with the case against the 17 accused of murder and other serious offences committed in Marikana in August 2012.

The state emphasised its readiness and that of its witnesses to testify in the matter.

This comes after the matter appeared in the High Court of South Africa; North West Division, sitting at the Mogwase Regional Court on Wednesday, 08 March 2023.

The matter was set for trial from 06 to 10 March 2023, however, one of the accused was not present on the first day and the matter was rolled over to the next day.

The NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame confirmed the accused are charged with 7 counts of murder, 4 of malicious damage to property, 4 of robbery, 3 for unlawful possession of firearms and 3 for unlawful possession of ammunition.

NPA

NPA

These charges are related to the labour disputes between mine workers of Lonmin Karee Mine and Impala Platinum Mine (Implats) and their employers when they participated in unprotected wage strikes that led to the loss of lives and damage to property,” said Mamothame.

Mamothame indicated that they are trial ready on this Marikanacase.

All the necessary documents were long exchanged between the state and the defence attorneys. The delays on trial are due their review application to have all charges dropped,” Mamothamesaid.

The defence attorneys wants all charges against the accused persons, who are mineworkers, to be dropped.

The NPA indicated on the record that it was ready to proceed with the trial, however, the defence attorneys are reluctant to proceed as they want the matter to be postponed or struck off the roll, pending the outcome of the review application they registered with the Gauteng Division of the High Court, to have all charges against them withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the state opposed this move as an order was granted by the North West Judge President for trial to resume amid the pending review application.

The state also believes it’s in the interest of justice for the trial to commence, considering the interest of the families of the deceased and of society in this matter.

The matter last appeared on 29 November 2022, and it was postponed for trial as per the Judge President’s order.

Both the state and the accused’s legal representatives have completed their arguments and the sitting judge is expected to make a judgement on 10 March 2023 on the postponement, or the court exercises its inherent jurisdiction to strike the matter off the roll.”

One of the accused is currently serving a life sentence for a murder related to the wage strike in Marikana in 2012.

16 of the accused are out on a warning and they are expected back in court when judgement is passed.

The report of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry established that the Marikana workers’ action was in contravention of strike law, and hence that their action was unprotected; in the authors’ view, it generally fell short of the description of crime.

On 16 August 2012, the South African Police Service (SAPS)allegedly opened fire on a crowd of striking mineworkers at Marikana, in the North West Province.  

34 mineworkers were killed, and left 78 seriously injured. Following the open fire assault – 250 of the miners were arrested.

 

CENTRAL NEWS

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