NPA still dealing with cases emanating from Marikana massacre

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has reaffirmed its commitment to deal with all issues emanating from investigations regarding the Marikana massacre.

Today marks 11 years since the shooting of striking Lonmin mineworkers in Marikana, North West on August 16 2012.

Henry Mamothame, spokesperson for the NPA in North West, said the Farlam Commission recommended that the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in North West investigate the killings and then decide whether to lay charges.

He detailed some challenges that the NPA faces as it tries to finalize the matter.

“A team of advocates from the NPA head office was assembled to deal with the matter, subsequently relieving the DPP of the responsibility,” said Mamothame.

“In mid-2022, the matter was brought back to the North West division [of the high court].

“The division at the time was challenged with unfilled vacancies and limited prosecutors to study the voluminous docket. The necessary resources were made available, and vacancies were filled.

“A team of senior state advocates headed by a deputy director of public prosecutions was then assembled and is currently studying the docket.

“Consultations with the Ipid [Independent Police Investigative Directorate] are taking place to fast-track the process of reaching a decision.”

He said in a separate matter concluded in court, former deputy police commissioner and three senior police officers faced a charge of defeating the ends of justice.

“The former police commissioner, General Mzondase Mpembe, Brigadier Jacobus van Zyl, Brigadier Dingaan Madoda, and Lieutenant-Colonel Oupa Pule faced a charge of defeating ends of justice for allegedly concealing information about the murder of Modisaotsile Segalala, who allegedly died in a police centre.

“They were acquitted of all the charges in March 2021.”

Another case is unfolding where Mpembe and five other police officers – Colonel Salmon Vermaak, Constable Nkosana Mguye, Warrant Officer Katlego Sekgweleya, Warrant Officer Masilo Mogale and Warrant Officer Khazamola Makhubela are charged with the murder of three police officers and two miners.

The group died during a confrontation between the police and mineworkers days before the massacre on August 16.

The matter is before the North West division of the high court and trial got under way from August 1 to 4 before the matter was postponed to November 13 to 15 for the state to call more witnesses.

Mamothame also said the NPA has a case against 18 mineworkers.

“The miners are charged with murder and other serious offences,” said Mamothame.

“This case is a result of widespread labour disputes in and around the Rustenburg during August 2012, in particular at Lonmin’s Karee and Impala mines which were characterised by violence and loss of life.

“The accused are facing serious offences including murder, attempted murder, and robbery, among others.

“This matter has since been provisionally withdrawn in court pending the finalisation of the review application before the North Gauteng High Court brought by the accused who challenge a decision to charge them.

“The review application hearing will be heard on October 10.”

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