Marikana mine murder accused case postponed

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The matter against a group of Lonmin Marikana mineworkers accused of killing 10 people in the days preceding the Marikana Massacre, has been postponed to Tuesday.

Sixteen of the seventeen men appeared briefly at the North West High Court sitting in the Mankwe Magistrate’s Court in Mogwase.

The accused plan to bring an application to have the matter stood down until their pending application in the high court in Pretoria to drop charges against them, is heard.

The charges relate to the murder of 10 people, preceding August 16th, 2012, the day on which 34 miners were killed by the police during a wildcat strike at Lonmin platinum mine operations in Marikana, now Sibanye Marikana operations.

Attorney for the accused, Andries Nkome says, “We are coming to court to do a substantial application where we will be telling the judge that there’s a pending matter and if he goes on and proceeds with this case here, it will be a futile exercise simply because the North Gauteng High Court might decide to review the findings and have the charges withdrawn.”

The state alleges the group killed two policemen, Warrant Officer Oupa Sello Lepaaku and Warrant Officer Hendrick Tsietsi Monene, two Lonmin security officers, Hassan Fundi and Frans Matlhomola Mabalane and three non-striking mineworkers.

Mabelane and Fundi were hacked and burnt to death when they tried to stop mineworkers from marching to the offices of the National Union of Mineworkers on August 12, 2012.