North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has welcomed the arrest of six suspects involved in the killings in Marikana.
“Premier Mahumapelo has on behalf of the North West provincial government welcomed the arrest of six suspects in relation to the killings that took place in Marikana between May and October 2017,” said the Premier’s Office on Monday.
In addition, Tebogo Ramashilabele, who heads the Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal unit in the Office of the Premier will today attend a meeting with the land claim committee as part of the on-going efforts to ensure lasting stability in the area.
On Sunday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula announced the arrest of the six at a media briefing at the Rustenburg Police Station.
Operation “Take Down” led to the arrest of the suspects in Mooinooi and Idutywa in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.
“These suspects have been the brains behind the killings of Marikana people and surrounding areas,” said the Minister.
Minister Mbalula said the arrests are a clear indication that the police are making inroads in addressing crime while also ensuring that the long arm of the law catches up with criminals.
In August 2012, several people were killed during clashes linked to the Lonmin Platinum mine strike.
The killings spilled over to neighbouring areas of Phokeng and Mooinooi.
It was suspected in 2014 that there had been union rivalry as a result of the strike at Lonmin. As part of interventions at that time, the police embarked on various operations including a Platinum Belt Operation in 2014. Arrests were effected in some of the cases and suspects were convicted. However, investigations are ongoing in other cases.
As an added intervention, Mine Crime Combatting Forums (MCCFs) were established countrywide at all Clusters where there are mines so as to ensure safety and security within mining communities.
On Sunday, Minister Mbalula said while the police were able to effect stability in the area, cases of murder and attempted murder were reported between May and October 2017.
Of these cases, nine people lost their lives while two had near death experiences.
The majority of the victims were reported to have been members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) while one was unemployed.
Of those incidents, six cases of murder were reported in Phokeng, while two cases of murder and one of attempted murder were reported in Marikana. In Mooinooi, a case of attempted murder was reported. Following a thorough investigation, three suspects were nabbed in the Mooinooi case, they have been released on bail.
Minister Mbalula further announced that Anele Zonke, who was arrested in Marikana for two separate murder cases committed in Rustenburg and Marikana in July 2014, is currently serving two life terms. He, together with other accused persons, are facing another murder charge. They are due to appear in court today.