More Lonmin miners charged

The number of workers arrested in connection violence at the Marikana mine has increased to 270.

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.

GA-RANKUWA - The number of workers arrested in connection violence the Lonmin's Marikana mine increased to 270, the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Initially, 259 people were arrested and charged with murder and public violence.

At least 44 people were killed following a violent strike at the North West town over the past few weeks.

Lawyer Lesego Mmusi told the court the state was yet to justify why the workers were charged with murder.

He said the prosecution must release his clients and continue with investigations.

Mmusi was adamant that releasing the workers would not affect the probe.

He said those who were denied medication could lose their lives if they were not released.

Earlier, the state asked for a week-long postponement to allow police to investigate further.

Meanwhile, members of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police are expected to visit Marikana on Thursday to investigate claims of police brutality.

Officials are accused of assaulting 194 detainees.

The committee's acting chairperson, Annelize van Wyk, said they will probe the "worrying claims".

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is still waiting for a report from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on the allegations.