South Africa News

Police officers back in court as Marikana murder trial resumes

The trial of former North West deputy police commissioner, General Mzondase Mpembe, and five police officers will continue in the North West High Court on Monday.

The six are facing five counts of murder, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice, and contravening the Commissions Act by giving false information to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame, the trial is related to five murders in Marikana during the wage strike by Lonmin mineworkers on 13 August 2012.

The five include two police officers and three civilians.

Three witnesses have given testimony – a police crime scene expert, a CCTV operator from Lonmin Mines, and a police videographer.

The defence team will cross-examine the videographer on Monday.

CCTV operator

The incident, which allegedly claimed five lives three days prior to the Marikana massacre, was replayed in the North West High Court in Mahikeng.

The 13 August 2012 tragedy, which was captured by Lonmin Mine CCTV cameras, depicted a horrific scene involving the police at K3 shaft.

CCTV operator Timothy Makwela said the incident, which claimed five lives, allegedly happened behind the mine’s storeroom in Rustenburg.

A group of mineworkers went to the mine, allegedly looking for those who were on duty, when they were allegedly ambushed and shot and killed.

In the video, a group of miners, who were on a wage increase strike, are seen moving behind the storeroom when a large police contingent in various marked vehicles arrive. Police then circle the protesting miners using vehicles, including nyalas.

“Teargas canisters were then fired at the miners and pandemonium broke out. I saw miners fleeing in different directions, with police in pursuit,” alleged Makwela.

In the footage, police vehicles can be seen circling the fleeing miners and some are cornered, while a group is seen standing metres away between the trees.

-The Citizen

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