Six former members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) appeared briefly amid tight security at the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
A high number of the police, public order police (POP) and tactical response team (TRT) were deployed in court, and escorted the accused in and out of the courtroom.
Lungisa Madiba, 35, Juke Mjakane, 34, Sthembe Jakane, 41, Xolile Madikane, 39, Mthethelethu Mtshukuka, 34, and Zamelekhaya Mboxela, 35, were arrested on Saturday night in what Police Minister Fikile Mbalula described as a major breakthrough in killings incidents in Marikana.
Prosecutor Cassius Mona applied that the accused should be added to the charge sheet of Nkosinathi Mantashe, Samkelo Mkhutshwa and Simphiwe Silwane, who were arrested earlier and had already appeared in court.
“The state applied that they should be added as accused four to nine,” Mona said.
The case was postponed to February 21, for the accused to appoint attorneys. The state was expected to oppose their bail application.
The former Amcu members allegedly resigned from the union last year, and are alleged to have been part of plans to eliminate Amcu members.
A number of Amcu members were killed in September last year, with at least 11 cases of murder and attempted murder reported in the North West platinum belt between May and October last year.
Nine people were killed and two others were targetted and almost killed. The majority of the victims were reported to have been members of Amcu.
Six cases of murder were reported in Phokeng, while two cases of murder and one of attempted murder were reported in Marikana.
In Mooinooi, a case of attempted murder was reported, and three men Mantashe, Mkhutshwa and Silwane were arrested. Mantashe was released on R10 000 bail while Mkhutshwa was granted bail of R2,500 and are expected to appear in court in March, while Silwane was expected back in court on February 15, for continuation of his bail application.
The three allegedly shot Malibongwe Mdazo in Mooinooi on July 22 in an attempt to kill him.
Speaking outside the court, Mdazo said he was happy that Amcu union leader Joseph Mathunjwa hired private investigators to assist the police in the case.
“I am happy people are arrested, we hope the truth will come up,” he said.
Mdazo was shot five times, including in his right arm, stomach and thigh.
“I survived the shooting, others were killed,” he said.
Amcu members in their green T-shirts sang outside the court while others filled up the courtroom to witness their former union members appearing in court. Some waved placards reading: “Murders remain in jail, no bail,” and “No bail to this NUM kitten till they tell who pay them to kill Amcu leaders, maybe is Cyril Ramaphosa or Jacob Zuma”.
The killings in the North West platinum belt was suspected to be orchestrated by trade unions fighting for control, this was after the Amcu toppled the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as the dominant union in the platinum mines around Rustenburg in 2012.
– African News Agency (ANA)