And here i thought the Lonmin massacre couldn’t get any more bizarre. 270 of the arrested mine workers have been charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues. I’m confused.
Since that tragic day where 34 miners were shot and killed by police at Marikana i have had several debates over who is ulimately responsible. I raised several questions in my intitial post..why were alternative methods not effective, why were police not prepared for a shooter, why were there no police snipers, did the miners charge police with the intent to harm them or were they just scattering, why did the police shoot at fleeing miners etc. Video footage since the incident allegedly shows that a miner shot first, but autopsy reports reveal that the majority of the shot miners were killed while fleeing. Then there was the post-incident drama where arrested miners opened cases of assault against the police claiming they were beat up while in custody and now the whole thing has been turned on it’s head with the news that arrested miners have been charged in court with the murder of their colleagues.
Still not convinced the police acted in self-defense, but i’m not gonna be dragged into another long debate. And let’s not get into the underlying reason why all this went down in the first place because that will inevitably end up in me calling competing unions manipulating, greedy cocktonsils.
“National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Frank Lesenyego told the BBC the 270 workers would all face murder charges – including those who were unarmed or were at the back of the crowd.
“This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities,” he said.” [BBC]
So if you were a miner sitting way at the back smoking some ganja just chilling wondering why everyone is so angry and tense you will now be charged with murder as well.