NPA must explain Marikana charges: Radebe

2012-08-31 16:13

Johannesburg - The NPA must explain why the 270 arrested Marikana miners are facing murder charges, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday.

"I have requested the acting national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, to furnish me with a report explaining the rationale behind such a decision," Radebe said in a statement.

"Section 179 (6) of the Constitution reads: 'The Cabinet minister responsible for the administration of justice must exercise final responsibility over the prosecuting authority'."

On 16 August 34 striking miners were shot dead in a confrontation with police who were trying to disperse them at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana. Another 78 were injured.

Initially, the arrested group was charged with public violence. On Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority announced they would also face murder and attempted murder charges for the deaths of their colleagues.

Expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema described the murder charges as madness.

"The policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them. This is madness," he told protesters at the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, outside Pretoria, on Thursday.

Radebe said in terms of the NPA Act the NDPP had to provide the justice minister with information or a report regarding the case, and give reasons for any decision taken.

"There is no doubt that the NPA’s decision has induced a sense of shock, panic and confusion within the members of the community and the general South African public.

"It is therefore incumbent upon me to seek clarity on the basis upon which such a decision is taken," Radebe said.

  • gkleingeld - 2012-08-31 14:26

    Did the mob not hack two police officers to death? Did the miners not seek to hak the rest of the police to death? This charge of murder by mob should become law, will stop muderers who hide behind mass action strikes! I say charge them all for accomplice to murder. But there should still be an enquiry into police actions, those guilty in the police should face the music.

      claudia.meads - 2012-08-31 18:00

      You are 100% correct, 'incitement is murder, if death is the consequence'. Mob action per se, needs to be clearly defined in SA Law - collective criminality translates in parity under prosecution, as the mob then becomes the perpetrator, in itself. Perhaps someone will be kind enough to explain to me - as my limited 'western' logic cannot grasp it: why do you give a police-person a fully loaded firearm that he/she is not allowed to use (seemingly not even in a life-threatening situation)..?

  • barry.ahern.3 - 2012-08-31 14:26

    Im not shocked, confused, or panicing. GO JUSTICE SYSTEM!

  • fussed.anderson - 2012-08-31 14:27

    How does there brain no, that space to hold there ears apart work?????

  • Trevorcentury - 2012-08-31 14:29

    Jacob come back for Julius.... not sure who is winning this one tho...

  • tiaan.truter - 2012-08-31 14:32

    sigh...idiots...idiots everywhere.enough said

  • - 2012-08-31 14:33

    Damn straight you have to answer. This is the most trumped up charge that I have ever heard: The surviving miners murdered their compatriots by scaring the police into shooting at them. That’s some logic and if you follow it further it means that the dead miners actually committed suicide. But according to “common purpose” you are convicted together in the crime. This means that the police, who pulled the trigger, would have to be guilty of murder too but they have not been charged. I believe that this case is misdirection so that no one asks the real questions about the police’s action and so no one holds the Ministers and Commissioners accountable.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-31 14:44

    The government, police, NPA and Unions are totally and rapidly loosing any credibility with the entire mining workforce, and the result has begun to spread to other mines, as workers without Unions (NUM/Casatu) are moving to lay down tools, this is already happening, as reports are now revealing that Goldfield strikes are three days old already as more and more workers are laying down tools. Already labeled as a wild cat strike, this however is not in the realm of a labor dispute but a show of solidarity with their counterparts. The government continues to botch it up as the ANC tries to coat the truth and suppress the ability of the Lonmin workers to negotiate fairly, the fact is that the concerns and debate around government/casatu(NUM) alliance and their involvement with the occurrences at Marikane' is spreading like wild fire through the working ranks.

  • gandanga.tororo - 2012-08-31 14:47

    Who is fooling who? I need a lion larger. Who is in charge? ANC or red ants.

  • scouter.fourone - 2012-08-31 14:51

    Has any one noticed the recent plummeting exchange rate? Thanks ANCYL - if you do ever get your wish, you will be inheriting a wasteland of your own making ......

  • shireen.chodree - 2012-08-31 15:00

    No Jeff Radebe, there is no confusion. Do not speak on behalf of the South African public. 10 People were murdered, irrespective of being policemen or civilians. We are tired of the lawlessness. They must be charged or else they will go on murdering when they feel unhappy. Do not question when the NPA is doing their job. I thought you were more literate than Julius Malema but your thinking is exactly the same now.

  • Msika - 2012-08-31 15:01

    Bizare! Can't say I am suprised though, this is SA.

  • tony.naidoo - 2012-08-31 15:06

    How can a Prosecution Authority explain what it does NOT understand? Acting with common the archaic legislation of the NP which used to round us up by the hundreds and flog the s*$t out of us! The entire judiciary needs an overall. In fact, the entire govt. needs to be overalled !

  • lukombo.cliff - 2012-08-31 15:06

    I heard that according to reports,yet to be confirmed,most of those 44 who died from the police shooting was killed or shoot at the back. Any comments?

  • kingsley.mgidi - 2012-08-31 15:07

    living in south africa without money to hv a lawyer is hard! Most people who lead this country are above the law and zuma is doing nothing about it!

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-31 15:07

    They can be charged of complicity, and found guilty if so proven. Whhy is the minister meddling with this case? The ANC is definitely politicising this case. There is a prosecuting authority to decided what to do!

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-08-31 15:07

    what a FOOL...why have weapons when striking?

  • psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-08-31 15:22

    Why is it that every monumentally stupid decision taken by the NPA seems to have a Black male member of the NPA as a culprit? Anyone who applaudes this murder charge on common purpose must be braindead. The police shoot and kill 34 miners. Video footage shows some of this. Now the surviving miners are charged with murder, by police bullets from guns held by the police!! LOL!!! This charge implicates the state police in murder, for there must be a crime commited for a charge on common purpose. The 34 miners were killed by the POLICE- not miners. By this charge, the NPA is clearly calling police action murder, with which the accused miners are alleged to have common cause. So then, when are they going to arrest the police officers with whom the accused miners intended to have common cause in the murder of the 34 miners??? LOL!!! Not even the Apartheid regime abused the doctrine of common purpose in such a fashion!

  • leonard.w.gray - 2012-08-31 15:27

    another mess, the police don't know what they are doing neither does the judiciary, this government is a joke.

  • alan.mcnab.35 - 2012-08-31 15:33

    An interesting move by NPA . I am sure they will be able to prove that there was compliance amongst most of those arrested but , which judge in our land is going to make a ruling and perhaps sentence against that many people ? This is going to be a Mangaung fiasco with Politicians and Unionists trying to manipulate the outcome to their best benefit . There will not be a lot of justics meted out in this case I am sure .

  • Ditantane - 2012-08-31 15:35

    Justice Minitry and the NPA are both the state right, anyway this madness will be done in 4 months time.

  • anwar.rassool - 2012-08-31 15:41

    pls read

  • mullervince - 2012-08-31 15:44

    Oeps. Another minister who does not know the law. Scary isn't it.

  • Chriskoi1 - 2012-08-31 15:45

    Kry die man in die wit Jas en sy muti wat hulle laat dink het hulle is onsigbaar en dit nogal in die dag Shoe die IK level is maar madness of hoe sê ek nou vir jou julius malematjie

  • sithembisopa.phewa - 2012-08-31 15:48

    some people here and the npa are not think very well and some day you will find yourself or your relative in some problems and the npa will charge you with some crazy charges like this. we all saw it on tv people getting killed and we saw the shooters. please these people are paid peanuts anyway but they are also wrong (the miners)

  • impi.masondo - 2012-08-31 15:59

    the npa is controled by the elite they are only accepting checks

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-31 15:59

    Difficult one to prove. I can't see 'common purpose' being upheld for murder at all, but maybe arguable for attempted murder (attacking the police with lethal weapons), but still, I doubt the court will uphold that argument. The murders of the ten people prior to the attack on the police were committed as separate incidents (time & place) and cannot be brought into the arrest of the 270 miners, and therefore should be investigated as independent/separate incidents. Just my take on this - I really cannot see how a charge of murder can be made.

  • sipho.shabalala.796 - 2012-08-31 16:42

    Lack of foresight, always reacting.

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-08-31 18:55

    Mine workers didn't kill their co-workers, their co-workers killed by police. The only people to be blame are employers who cause all this harvoc by not meeting workers demands.They still stubborn even now.

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