Former North West deputy police commissioner Maj-Gen William Mpembe and eight other policemen are due to appear in the North West High Court in Mogwase on Monday on charges relating to the death of mineworkers and others at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana near Rustenburg during a violent strike in August 2012.
Mpembe is now head of security at a mining house in Marikana. He is accused of the murder of Semi Jokanisi, Tembelakhe Mati, Warrant Officer Tsietsi Monene, and Warrant Officer Sello Lepaauku.
Other accused include retired Colonel Salmon Johannes Vermaak, 53, Constable Nkosana Mguye, 38, Warrant Officer Masilo Mogale, 49, Warrant Officer Katlego Joseph Sekgweleya, 39, and Khazamola Phillip Makhubela, 49.
Mpembe, 55, also faces other charges, including defeating the ends of justice, contravention of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Act, and contravention of the Commissions Act. Vermaak also faces charges of defeating the ends of justice and contravention of the Commissions Act.
Mpembe and Vermaak were granted R5000 bail each, while Mguye, Mogale, Sekgweleya, and Makhubela were released on R2000 bail each.
Three others, Gideon van Zyl, Dingaan Madoda, and Oupa Pule, are accused of defeating the ends of justice and contravention of the Ipid Act. They allegedly failed to disclose that mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in custody while being transported to Lonmin premises on August 16, 2012.
Thirty-four people, mostly mineworkers, were shot dead by police on August 16, 2012, during a violent wildcat strike at Lonmin’s Marikana mining operations. In the preceding week, 10 other people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security officers, were killed in the violence.