Fourteen Marikana men accused of hacking a man to death briefly appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The case against them was postponed to July 18, as no stenographer was available. The defence argued that the case had been postponed several times and wanted the matter to be heard speedily or struck off the roll, stating that the court must consider the political overtones linked to the case.
There is a perception that the case is a political show-off between the African National Congress and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) over the allocation of low cost houses (RDP houses) in Marikana. The EFF felt the ANC was rewarding its members with houses in Marikana. Irate members have illegal occupied low cost houses in Marikana West.
The ANC lost ward 32 in the Rustenburg local municipality to the EFF after the August 3, municipal election last year.
The 14 including activist Napoleon Webster were arrested following the murder of Sabata Petrus Chale at Marikana West in December.
Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi, Napoleon Webster and William Nyenyane had already been denied bail.
Aphndile Pungone, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana were expected to apply for bail on Monday. They were arrested while the other six were busy with their bail applications.
The State alleges they hacked Sabata Petros Chale, 39, to death in Marikana West, on December 8, 2016, allegedly over the allocation of low cost houses at Marikana West Extension 2.
Chale was allegedly chased by a group of about 30 people and was hacked to death with pangas, axes and spears. He died at the scene. His attackers allegedly drank his blood.
After the brief appearance, the accused shook hands with family members, and some posed for cellphone pictures before they were led into the holding cell.