Former NW top cop Mpembe in court over Marikana killings

William Mpembe was among seven officers and two security guards who appeared in court on charges related to the 2012 violence during the wildcat strike by miners on the platinum belt.

FILE: A heavy police presence was in place in the area surrounding the Lonmin Marikana mine after violent protests. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe is one of nine people who appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court in connection with two cases linked to the 2012 Marikana killings.

Mpembe was arrested on Thursday morning on charges brought against him as a result of the recommendations from the commission of inquiry into the massacre.

He faces several charges, including four counts of murder and six of attempted murder.

Mpembe was among seven officers and two security guards who appeared in court on charges related to the 2012 violence during the wildcat strike by miners on the platinum belt.

Mpembe and three other senior officers were released on a warning after appearing on charges of contravening the Ipid Act and defeating the ends of justice, while the major general faces an additional charge for misleading the commission of inquiry led by retired judge Ian Farlam.

Mpembe appeared a second time with four other accused where he faces four charges of murder and six of attempted murder related to the killings in the days leading up to the Marikana massacre.

Mpembe has been released on R5,000 bail.

Meanwhile, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa says charging Mpembe does not answer the question of who made the decisions that led to the deaths of 44 people in Marikana over five years ago.

The union’s president maintains the killings were the result of a political decision.

“We still believe that Mpembe wouldn’t have taken such a decision by himself.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)