South Africa 16.4.2018 03:52 pm

Speed up mining killings probe, NUM asks cops

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members protest outside the Brits Magistrate's Court in North West, against bail for former union members accused of plotting to kill Amcu members. Picture: ANA

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members protest outside the Brits Magistrate's Court in North West, against bail for former union members accused of plotting to kill Amcu members. Picture: ANA

The State alleges three hitmen were hired to kill Amcu members at mines in the North West platinum belt in order to weaken the NUM rival union.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called on the police to speed up investigations into the killings of mineworkers in Marikana near Rustenburg in South Africa’s North West province.
 
“We call upon the state to speed up its investigation and arrest all those who are involved in the killings of mineworkers in Marikana, including the brutal murder of comrade Mninawe Deleki who was shot in front of his family,” NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu said in a statement on Monday.
 
Deleki was NUM branch chairperson at Lonmin’s Eastern Platinum Mine. He was shot and killed at his house in Bapong at the end of January this year.
 
Mammburu said the union noted media reports about the recent arrests of mineworkers in Marikana associated with the killings of other mine workers.
 
“As NUM, we state categorically clear that all the 13 accused people are members and former leaders of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union [Amcu], except for Petersen Siyaya and Nkosinathi Mantashe.
 
“Petersen Siyaya and Nkosinathi Mantashe are NUM members. Petersen Siyaya is an NUM member who was assisting Amcu members with employee relations matters.”
 
Prosecutor Cassius Mona told the court during the bail application at the Brits Magistrate’s Court that Siyaya was linked to the case by allegedly delivering money to pay hit men.
 
“This allegation is baseless as the investigating officer could not tell the court who delivered the money and at what place. The state prosecutor is on record saying that Peterson Siyaya was never present in all the meetings where the alleged plans of assassination were hatched.
  
“We are therefore calling upon the State to release Peterson Siyaya as there is no tangible evidence against him. Secondly the absence of his involvement as far as all the meetings are concerned and was never disputed by the state during the cross-examination,” he said.
 
Mammburu claimed that a “prominent private investigator” had been hired to “frame” NUM members.
 
Meanwhile, seven men accused of hatching a plan to kill Amcu leaders would know on Friday whether their bail bid was successful.
 
One of the other accused, Simphiwe Silwane, abandoned his bail application for safety reasons.
 
The State alleged Silwane is one of three hitmen hired to kill Amcu members at mines in the North West platinum belt in order to weaken the NUM rival union at Lonmin mines in Marikana.
 
Magistrate Jethro Mosime was expected to deliver his judgement on the bail application on April 20.
 
Two more men were expected to be arrested for their alleged involvement in the conspiracy.
 
In October 2017, Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa hired private investigator Paul O’Sullivan to probe the sustained killings of Amcu members and also offered a R200 000 reward to anyone that would come forward with evidence leading to a conviction of those killing Amcu members.
 
African News Agency (ANA)

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