South African Marikana Miners Charged with Murder

Workers arrested at South Africa’s Marikana mine have been charged in court with the murder of 34 of their colleagues shot by police.

The 270 workers would be tried under the “common purpose” doctrine because they were in the crowd which confronted police on 16 August, and then police opened fire, killing 34 miners and sparking a national outcry.

The decision to charge the workers was “madness”, said former ruling ANC party youth leader Julius Malema, who said the policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them, and the whole world saw the policemen kill those people.

The killing of the 34 was the most deadly police action since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

The decision by the South African authorities to charge 270 workers with the murder of 34 of their colleagues who were shot dead by police is politically controversial, as the prosecution is relying on the “common purpose” doctrine, once used by the former white minority regime against black activists fighting for democracy.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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