Mpembe’s family accuses state of misleading public regarding Marikana killings

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The family of former North West Deputy Police commissioner, William Mpembe, has accused the state of misleading the public, especially the people of Marikana by creating an impression that he was behind the Marikana killings in August 2012.

Thirty-four mine workers were killed by police in Marikana during an unprotected strike by Lonmin employees.

Simon Mpembe says they have temporarily ruled out suing the state as his brother is still charged with the death of two police officers and three mine workers in the days leading up to the Marikana massacre.

He says the state used his brother and three other police officials as scapegoats and that the ordeal has affected not only Mpembe’s reputation but has emotionally impacted his children.

“The South African people especially the people at Marikana were not properly informed. They were actually misled by the state that the four suspects charged with my brother, that they are the murderers of the 34 people in Marikana, whereas that trial was not a murder trial and even the judge warned the media to say it’s not a murder trial. They ruined actually the career of my brother. He had to resign from the police. So they have made him a very bad person in the community to say he killed the miners, so clearly you can see that the state has got a witch hunt.”


In March, the North West High court in Mahikeng acquitted Mpembe and three others of all charges against them.

Mpembe and his three co-accused were charged with defeating the ends of justice, contravening the commission’s act, and the IPID act.

They were charged with failing to report the death, in police custody, of Modisaotsile Sagalala, who was shot during the 2012 Marikana unrest.

Below is the court hearing:

Residents demand jobs from mining companies

Meanwhile, residents of Marikana are demanding that the mining companies operating in their area, employ them.

They say the mines have failed to keep their promise to employ locals and empower them by procuring goods and services from their businesses.

They blockaded the roads leading to Sibanye-Stillwater demanding 3000 jobs immediately, leading to confrontations, allegedly with mine security.

The Marikana Cluster Crisis Movement’s Appearance Ndlovu says, “We made a clear demand that we want 3 500 jobs hence there was a rumour that K4 shaft will open. I believe we even saw their launch of 4000 jobs. We did that demand even before they can publish that story, but when we get to the boardroom it’s a different story. They said they don’t have jobs for us. So our question is which community will benefit from those jobs because we are the doorstep community.”

Additional reporting by Itumeleng Kgajane.