Cosatu welcomes NPA decision on Lonmin miners

Lonmin miners gather on 18 August 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Sunday said the decision by the National prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge the Marikana miners with murder should have never followed through.

Cosatu said police should be prosecuting individuals based on what may have occurred prior to the shooting.

“The overwhelming condemnation from all over the world persuaded the NPA to come to its senses, to drop the charges and release those that were arrested,” said Cosatu’s Patrick Craven.

On Sunday the NPA announced it had provisionally withdrawn the murder charges against all 270 Lonmin miners arrested in connection with the deaths of their 34 colleagues in August. 

The violent protest in the North West has claimed a total of 44 lives.

At the same time trouble is brewing at Gold Field's KDC gold mine, west of Johannesburg, as a week-long strike is said to be intensifying.

This follows an urgent interdict granted to the mine against the 12,000 striking workers.

Management said the strike appears to be the result of disagreement's within organised labour.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said it was not involved, while the National Union of Mineworkers and Solidarity have reportedly claimed the strike is related to a funeral policy offered by the mine.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)