Marikana killings: Saftu welcomes arrest of former North West top cop Mpembe

William Mpembe and eight others appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court on several charges including murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

FILE: General Secretary of SA Federation of Trade unions Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has joined Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) in welcoming the arrest of former North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe in the matter relating to the 2012 Marikana murders, just days before the 16 August massacre.

Mpembe and eight others appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrates Court on several charges including murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.

Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi says it’s concerning that the major general was involved.

Mpembe faces four counts of murder and six of attempted murder, a charge of defeating the ends of justice and another for misleading the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre.

Vavi says they welcome the arrests as this may address their longstanding suspicions.

“We always had a suspicion that the police element and the state may be involved in the killings and hence the refusal to act decisively.”

Earlier, Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa said the charges against Mpembe and eight others do not offer clarity on who made the decisions that led to the killings.