24 October 2012

South Africa: Four Arrested for Marikana Murders

Johannesburg — Four Lonmin platinum mineworkers have been arrested in connection with killings around the Marikana hostels, North West police said on Wednesday.

"The four suspects were arrested at about 3pm [on Tuesday] in a vehicle while they were coming from the Marikana inquiry," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

"In the past three weeks, four mineworkers were brutally murdered and police have been working tirelessly in their endeavour to arrest the perpetrators."

Ngubane denied that the mineworkers were arrested because they were supposed to testify at the Farlam Commission.

The commission's brief is to investigate the shooting on August 16 that left 34 miners dead when police tried to disperse them in Marikana on August 16.

The workers, who wanted monthly salaries of R12,500, had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks, and iron rods.

During the commission hearing on Tuesday, advocate Dali Mpofu, for 275 arrested miners and the injured, said five of his witnesses, two of them key witnesses, had been arrested.

Ngubane said this was not an intimidation tactic.

"We are confident that there is evidence linking the arrested suspects to the killing of the victims," he said.

Last week, mineworkers at the Lonmin mine went on strike in protest against the arrests.

In all, eight people have been arrested for killings which happened after the August 16 shooting.

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