Platinum miners – murder charges

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PLATINUM miners arrested at South Africa’s Marikana mine were yesterday charged with the murder of 34 colleagues shot by police.

The police shootings sparked a national outcry.

Earlier yesterday, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Frank Lesenyego said that police have not been charged because a commission of inquiry would investigate their actions.

He said 270 workers face murder charges because they were in the crowd of striking platinum miners, some of whom were armed.

Lesenyego said: ‘This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose.’

He said the updated indictments had already been given to the defence and these would be formally delivered to the accused in court.

Six of the 270 workers remain in hospital, after being wounded in the 16 August shooting.

The other 264 workers were appearing in the Garankuwa magistrates court near the political capital, Pretoria.

A crowd had gathered outside the court to demand their immediate release.