The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) has been left disappointed after the high court in the North West acquitted four senior officers last week over the Marikana massacre almost a decade ago.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said they were still studying the judgment in order to make an informed decision. North West NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said they would issue a statement as soon as they finalised their decision,
Former deputy police provincial commissioner General Mzondase Mpembe and his three co-accused.faced a charge of defeating the ends justice by allegedly concealing information on circumstances surrounding the death of Modisaotsile Segalala who died in police custody when striking miners participated in a wage strike on 16 August 16, 2012.
Mpembe was acquitted with Brigadier Jacobus van Zyl, Brigadier Dingaan Madoda and Lieutenant-Colonel Oupa Pule by the court last week.
The senior officers were acquitted on charges of contravening the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act by not reporting the death of a miner in the police custody and also contravening the Commissions Act by not disclosing in their report into the death of Segalala in police custody
Seri is a non-profit human rights organisation that supports the widows of the Marikana massacre victims.
“The families of the deceased Marikana miners are very disappointed with the outcome of the criminal prosecution of the police alleged to have concealed the circumstances around the death of Segalala. What we know is that Segalala did not die in hospital, there are no records of showing who brought him to the hospital and we know in the commission of the inquiry the SAPS did not disclose that he died in police (custody); now we are told that a probable 30 police officers were aware of this,” said Seri executive director Nomzamo Zondo.
She said that for the families it’s disappointing that no one will account for that, and the information was not given to the Segalala family in 2012 or the commission.
Zondo said the families including the Segalala family are looking forward to what the NPA and the Ipid plan to do.
The decision of the North West High Court came after Police Minister Bheki Cele released a report into policing and crowd management following the massacre almost a decade ago.
Cele also announced last week that more than R176 million has been paid by government to families of the mineworkers who were killed in Marikana.
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