NEWS & ANALYSIS

Justice for Marikana: Mpembe must be convicted! - R2K

NWest SAPs DC will be appearing in Mankwe Magistrate court on Monday

We demand justice for Marikana: Mpembe must be convicted!

8 June 2019

On Monday, 10 June 2019,  the former North West deputy commissioner major-general William Mpembe will be appearing in Mankwe Magistrate court in connection to the 2012 Marikana massacre. The court case comes after an investigation from IPID on the conduct of police during the Marikana mine workers strike in 2012.  Mpembe is accused of murder, attempted murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

As human rights defenders, we are calling for justice for the mine workers massacred during the 2012 worker’s strike while exercising their right to protest. To this day, the Marikana massacre stands as a reminder of how the South African government and private capital can use violence to suppress citizens demanding a better life.

Following the release of the Farlam Commission report, the Right2Know Campaign and the Marikana Support Campaign used the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to demand answers from SAPS on what steps have been taken in the past years to investigate wrongdoing amongst its members. So Far we only know that only 9 police are being investigated and charged by IPID. We hope out of Monday’s court proceedings, justice will be served and see many more of those implicated facing justice. The Farlam Commission Report recommended that the police be investigated for the murder of the 34 mineworkers but it has taken forever to finalise the investigations.

This case came at the right time, in the month that represents the youth of South Africa and to mark this R2K and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa will remember those who died by picketing outside the Mankwe Magistrate court supported by the Marikana Youth Development.

William Mpembe is now hired as the head of security at Tharisa mine. This has affected members of the Marikana Youth Development as he has been undermining their right to protest.  He has gone to the extent of getting court interdicts to stop them from exercising their right to protest. Many community leaders from MYD are served with court interdicts by the Theresa Mine under the leadership of William Mpembe. Some leaders were even accused of planning to bomb Theresa mine by Mpembe, using the police to question the comrades following allegations without facts.

We demand:

- Justice for the mine workers who were massacred in 2012

- Mpembe must be jailed with everyone that was involved

- Mpembe must leave SAPS alone, he is no longer an employee of the SAPS

- North-West SAPS must respect the right to protest

Issued by Bongani Xezwi, R2K Outreach Organiser, 8 June 2019