NPA makes ruling on Marikana
Johannesburg - The Justice Ministry on Sunday welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to withdraw murder charges against 270 Lonmin mineworkers.
“We welcome the decision, but will await formal report as requested,” said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.
The workers were initially charged with murder, attempted murder and public violence following the unrest that left 34 people dead and 78 others injured on August 16.
The NPA said the group would be issued with warnings concerning the murder charges at their next court appearance on September 6.
The other charges would remain.
The African National Congress has also welcomed the move.
“This decision will allow the Commission of Inquiry established by the president (Jacob Zuma) to do its work and for police to continue with their investigations,” said party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.
Meanwhile the Friends of the Youth League, which is associated with axed ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, blamed the Lonmin tragedy on the country's leadership.
Floyd Shivambu of the group said : “If there was leadership in South Africa, the lengthy unreasoned, horrible and inhuman incarnation and imprisonment of mineworkers who survived the massacre would have been avoided.”
The Friends of the Youth League group has vowed to stand behind the workers, who continue to demand higher wages. - Sapa