It would not be in the interest of justice to keep the accused in custody and granted bail by releasing all 10 accused on a warning
TEN ILLEGAL miners operating in the Samaria Road area, who were arrested for public violence during clashes with police, have been released.
Patrick Kwes, Desmond Williams, Joel Magwagwa, Johannes Moseki, Tsietsie Botsange, Frans Lubeko, Lebogang Maiye, Aaron Ditire, Isaa Moskoete and Elvis Berends were released on a warning in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday following a successful bail application.
They were arrested on April 5 on the R64 (towards Boshof).
At the time, police spokesperson, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, said that nine suspects were arrested in connection with public violence following the incident.
“At Samaria, a group of about 300 illegal miners blockaded the R64 along Boshoff Road and police were pelted with stones. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the illegal miners. One person was shot with a rubber bullet and has been taken to a local hospital by an ambulance where he is receiving medical treatment.
“Police have arrested nine suspects in connection with public violence after barricading the road and pelting police with stones,” Ramatseba said.
The miners had been in custody since.
On Friday, Magistrate Lance Roach, while handing down judgment in the bail application, stated that it appeared as if the State had an “extremely weak case” against all 10 accused, as the prosecution could not inform the court exactly what role each of the accused played in committing the offence and if each one held common purpose in the commission of the offence.
The State only indicated that the 10 were arrested “as part of the group who participated in the march”.
Their defence indicated that the accused were not part of the group of miners who staged a march to the Premier’s office (before being halted by police) and were arrested on the scene after arriving later (when coming from town) and wanting to enter the premises.
Roach indicated that it would not be in the interest of justice to keep the accused in custody and granted bail by releasing all 10 accused on a warning.
They are expected to appear in court again next month.