The arrest of six men linked to the killing of mineworkers in Marikana last year was made through the help of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the union said on Tuesday.
“These arrests were made at the behest of Amcu private investigators who traced these ‘trigger man’ and ‘collaborators’. The impetus by Amcu was an act of good citizenry, in pursuance of law and order, without seeking personal glory,” said Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa.
“Amcu welcomes the arrest of suspected murderers in the 2017 Marikana killings. We recognise the splendid work done by our private investigators, including Mr. Paul O’ Sullivan, in collecting and collating evidence leading to these arrests.”
He said the union had also offered a reward of up to R200,000 for credible information that assisted investigators with leads.
“It is important to place it on record that contrary to the non-statement issued by the Minister of Police [Fikile Mbalula] and his generals, the police acted on details, names, addresses and evidence collated by our private investigators which led to the expeditious arresting of the suspects.”
He said Mbalula further cast aspersions on Amcu through suggestive remarks that the source of these conflicts was an outcome of rivalry within the union.
“This painted a picture of a union at war with itself. We take great exception to this and dismiss these claims as baseless.”
On Sunday, Mbalula announced the arrest of Lungisa Madiba, 35, Juke Mjakane, 34, Sthembe Jakane, 41, Xolile Madikane, 39, Mthethelethu Mtshukuka, 34, and Zamelekhaya Mboxela, 35.
He said the police had made a major breakthrough in the internal fighting in Amcu.
The six were arrested on Saturday night in Marikana and Mooinooi in North West and Idutywa in the Eastern Cape. They appeared briefly in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday, when their case was postponed to February 21 for them to appoint lawyers and for a bail application.
Mathunjwa said there were more people to be arrested based on the evidence the union had handed to the police.
“We are also not convinced that the nine suspects arrested constitute the hierarchy of masterminds for these killings,” he added. “We therefore request transparency in the handling of this matter and no cover ups to protect sacred cows. There must be no stone left unturned and indeed the police need to objectively enter into the spaces of all those culpable and bring them book.”
In October last year, Mathunjwa said his union would hire private investigator Paul O’ Sullivan to probe the killing of union members in Marikana.
Members killed included Mvelisi Biyela, health and safety office bearer at Lonmin, who was gunned down in Wonderkop on September 22, and Tholakele Dlunga, the branch chairperson for health and safety. Known as Bhele in mining circles, he was gunned down on October 17.
Western Platinum branch chairman Malibongwe Mdazo survived a hit on his life. He was shot and wounded in Moonooi on July 22 last year. He was struck in the right bicep, stomach and thigh. He cannot use his right hand as result of the shooting.
Three men – Nkosinathi Mantashe, Samkelo Mkhutshwa and Simphiwe Silwane – were arrested in connection with an attempt to kill Mdazo.
Mantashe was released on R10,000 bail, Mkhutshwa on R2,500 bail, while Silwane was expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for further bail hearing.
The police said 11 cases of murder and attempted murder were reported in the North West platinum belt between May and October last year.
– African News Agency (ANA)