Five arrested Marikana miners released

Advocate Dali Mpofu said he was grateful that five Marikana miners could now testify in the inquiry.

Dali Mpofu and Dumisa Ntsebeza chat during a break at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on 3 Oct 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

RUSTENBURG - Five of the nine Marikana miners arrested in recent weeks were released on Tuesday.

Lawyers representing the workers called for their release, saying they are key witnesses in the commission of inquiry.

The miners were arrested for allegedly being involved in the murders of at least 10 people during the five-week long violent protest in the North West mining town.

The murders took place before the August 16 shooting, where police opened fire on protesting Lonmin miners, killing 34 and injuring 78 others.

Some 250 miners were arrested for the shooting and charged with murder, but the National Prosecuting Authority later dropped the charges.

Advocate Dali Mpofu appeared to be pleased that his witnesses were going to be able to testify in the hearing, which was set up by President Jacob Zuma to probe the violence.

"I just want to express my gratitude for the assistance [given to get the miners released]."

In total, nine workers were arrested and charged with the murders.

Four policemen have already testified in the inquiry.

The commission on Tuesday expressed disappointment with the lack of video footage from the day of the fatal shooting.