Former North West Deputy Police Commissioner William Mpembe and five others are expected to appear in the North West High Court in Mahikeng on Monday morning, on charges of murder.
This is in connection with the death of three mineworkers and two police officials days before the Marikana massacre in 2012.
Mpembe‚ Salmon Vermaak‚ Nkosana Mguye‚ Collin Mogale‚ Katlego Sekgweleya‚ and Khazamola Makhubela are accused of murder‚ attempted murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Mpembe was the overall commander of the police’s operations on 13 August 2012 when a group of Lonmin mineworkers marched from Wonderkop to Karee shaft where they wanted to stop workers from going to work.
On their return to Wonderkop, they met with approximately 70 police officials under Mpembe’s command.
Mpembe allegedly instructed mineworkers to hand over their weapons and turn back. They allegedly refused and stun grenades were fired.
Workers Thembelakhe Mati and Semi Jokanisi and police officials Hendrick Monene and Sello Lepaaku were killed in the scuffle.
The five other police officials are charged with the murder of Phumzile Sokhanyile.
According to the state’s case, they indiscriminately fired into a crowd of fleeing mineworkers when they saw one had taken a police firearm.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Mpembe and three other senior police officials were found not guilty for defeating the ends of justice in that they failed to report the death of a mine worker in police custody.
Meanwhile, Mpembe and three other senior police officials were found not guilty, earlier this year, for defeating the ends of justice in that they failed to report the death of a mine worker in police custody.
The video below gives the background of the trial:
-Reporting by Sylvester Serame