Lonmin miners await bail verdict

More than 250 Lomin miners hope to be granted bail when they return to court on Wednesday.

Mineworkers are transported under heavy police guard from the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, north of Pretoria on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 where they appeared following the violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The 259 miners from Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West hope to be granted bail when they appear again in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The men have been in custody since the deadly protest in Marikana on 16 August, where 34 of their colleagues were shot dead during a conflict with police deployed to the mining district.

The bloodbath followed almost three weeks of a violent strike which saw 10 more people brutally murdered.

The men face charges of murder and public violence for their role in the fatal shooting.

The state has asked the court for a week's postponement for police to investigate the shooting further.

Prosecutors on Tuesday told the court arrangements could be made for terminally ill miners in the group to get their medication while behind bars.

The defence has argued that miners have not had access to their medication since their arrests.

It accused the state of playing with human lives.

Lawyers for the defence said some of the miners suffer from illnesses including tuberculosis and HIV and cannot get the required treatment in jail.

They added that they were concerned that the miners had been forced to sit for hours in police trucks while only a few appeared in the east of Pretoria court.

State lawyers said suspects had to sit in trucks because the courthouse did not have enough space to accommodate all the men at once.

The case resumes on Wednesday.