Home South African News #Marikana Cops and guards charged with murder

#Marikana Cops and guards charged with murder

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The charges against them stem from recommendations of the commission of inquiry chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam into the Marikana massacre.

Nine senior police officers are expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday, in connection with the killing of striking mineworkers in Marikana near Rustenburg in August 2012. PHOTO: ANA

NINE senior police officers and security guards have been charged with murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice in connection with the 2012 Marikana massacre.

The seven SAPS officers, who are also accused of contravening the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Act, and two guards were due to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court today.

The charges against them stem from recommendations of the commission of inquiry chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam into the Marikana massacre.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) North West regional spokesperson Frank Lesenyego said the senior officers would be making their first appearance and were likely to apply for bail. 

Lesenyego said the officers’ court appearance followed work done jointly by Ipid and prosecutors from the NPA’s head office in Silverton, Tshwane.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the charges relate to the August 13, 2012 incident in which mineworkers Tembelakhe Mati, Semi Jokanisi and Phumzile Sokanyile and warrant officers Tsietsi Monene and Sello Lepaaku were killed.

He said another murder charge was for the discovery of the body of a mineworker in a police vehicle.

The attempted murder relates to the brutal assault of Lieutenant Shitumo Baloyi, who was so severely injured that he had to stop working due to post-traumatic stress disorder.

The seven police officers are facing an additional charge of contravening the Ipid Act for failing, after becoming aware, to notify the directorate of the incidents within 24 hours and submit a written report to Ipid.

The Farlam Commission recommended that a team headed by a senior State advocate be appointed to work with independent experts in the reconstruction of crime scenes, expert ballistic and forensic pathologist practitioners, and senior Ipid investigators.

“The commission recommends a full investigation, under the direction of the director of public prosecutions, with a view to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the SAPS involved in the events at Scene 2,” Farlam’s report said.

He identified anomalies in the evidence of a senior police officer, which was contradicted by other evidence.

He said the circumstances of the shootings should be referred to the director of public prosecutions and probed.