Lonmin case postponed, IPID probes deaths

Striking Lonmin miners wait in the veld for word from their leaders. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

GA-RANKUWA – The case against 259 Lomin employees was postponed in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The workers were arrested for their involvement in the tragic Marikana police shooting earlier in August.

At least 34 people were killed and 78 others were wounded when police opened fire on demonstrators.
The case will resume on Tuesday.

Earlier, the state asked the court to postpone the case for another day in order to allow officers to conclude investigations.

Prosecutors also asked the court to deny the suspects bail because their release could jeopardise the case.

Lawyers for the mineworkers said there was no reason for them to be kept in jail.

According to state witness and Potchefstroom head of detectives Gideon van Zyl, officials could lose track of the workers’ whereabouts if they are released.

He said police were able to confirm the addresses of at least 125 workers, with the help of employer Lonmin.

The court is still trying to determine whether the arrested workers had previous criminal records and pending cases.


The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Monday officially opened a murder and attempted murder docket to investigate the shooting.

The directorate confirmed it would investigate 34 counts of murder and 32 of attempted murder.

According to the police watchdog, it will do everything in its power to determine if police were to blame for the deaths.

The investigation is set to determine if the officers were right in using live ammunition against the crowd.

Officers maintain protesters were violently approaching them.

It is still not clear when the IPID will release its findings.

(Edited by Zethu Zulu)