Saftu welcomes prosecution of officers in Marikana tragedy


File: In some cases, the police's heavy handedness appear to go too far. Marikana is such an example.

RUSTENBURG - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has welcomed the arrest and court appearance of nine senior police officers in connection with the Marikana tragedy. 

The officers handed themselves over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) at the Rustenburg police station a week ago and appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate&39;s Court on Thursday.

The men face a variety of charges, including murder and defeating the ends of justice, in connection with several killings in the week leading up to the mass shooting of mineworkers on August 16, 2012. 

Among the accused is former North West deputy police commissioner, William Mpembe who is accused of killing four people, including two police officers on August 13, 2012.

Mpembe also faces six counts of attempted murder and is accused of contravening the Commissions Act, after allegedly giving false evidence at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy.

READ: Ipid submits last docket in Marikana probe

Six of the nine accused have been granted bail.

Saftu said it is unacceptable that the officers were arrested and appeared in court only five-and-a-half years after the events occurred.

"... (T)hese arrests must not mark the end of the process to bring offenders to justice but the curtain-raiser for the arrest of all those responsible for the main massacre, 72 of whom have been investigated by the Ipid."

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