270 South African Miners Charged With Murder

By Alex Johnston
Alex Johnston
Alex Johnston
August 30, 2012 Updated: August 31, 2012

South African miners who went on strike at the Marikana facility were charged Thursday for the murder of 34 miners who were shot by police two weeks ago.

The 270 arrested workers are to be tried under South Africa’s common purpose law because they were in a crowd that went after police on Aug. 16, the BBC reported. Police then opened fire and killed a dozen of the workers.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Frank Lesenyego told the broadcaster that “where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities” is when the law would be used.

The move was condemned by a number of politicians and others.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Greg Marinovich, said Thursday that the police shot the workers “in cold blood,” according to the Daily Maverick. For two weeks he researched the mining unrest incident.

Marinovich, citing surviving strikers, said that 20 were killed away from cameras. “A minority were killed in the filmed event where police claim they acted in self-defense. The rest was murder on a massive scale,” he said.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.