News / South Africa

Molaole Montsho
3 minute read
11 Feb 2018
6:17 pm

Criminals cannot live alongside citizens – Mbalula

Molaole Montsho

He was in Rustenburg to announce a major breakthrough police have made relating to killings in the North West platinum mines.

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula introduces the newly appointed National Police Commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole at the SAPS training academy during his first press briefing on his appointment, 23 November 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Citizens cannot live side by side with criminals, South Africa Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Sunday.
 
“As citizens, we can’t live side by side with criminals, we must stamp the authority of the state and protect our people,” he told reporters in Rustenburg.
 
He was in Rustenburg to announce a major breakthrough police have made relating to killings in the North West platinum mines.
 
“Last night [Saturday], police embarked on a “Take Down” Operation where six suspects were arrested in Mooinooi, Wonderkop and Idutywa in the Eastern Cape,”Mbalula said. “These suspects have been the brains behind the killings of Marikana people and surrounding areas.”
 
The suspects were expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
 
He said 11 cases of murder and attempted murder were reported in the North West platinum belt between May and October last year.
 
“Of these cases, nine have lost their lives and two have had near death experiences. Majority of these victims are reported to have been members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union [Amcu] while one was unemployed.”
 
Six cases of murder were reported in Phokeng, 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 and responsive investigation, three suspects were nabbed in Mooinooi case, but are all on bail.  
 
Forty four people were killed during a violent wage strike at Lonmin Platinum’s Marikana operation in August 2012. Thirty four mineworkers were killed when the police shot them on August 16, 2012, while ten others, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed in the preceding week.
In September last year, Amcu members were killed in Marikana, prompting union leader Joseph Mathunjwa to hire private investigator Paul O’Sullivan to probe killings of union members and offered a R100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Amcu killers.
 
Mathunjwa also accused the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) of being behind the killings in view of its declining membership at Lonmin. An accusation the NUM had denied.
Amcu had also written letters to the National Prosecuting Authority complaining how the cases had been handled.
 
But Mbalula denied the police were under pressure to made arrest.
 
In addition to the six arrests, Mbalula said the Rustenburg cluster had arrested 77 people between Friday and Sunday. They were arrested for robbery, murder, rape, car-hijacking and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, amongst others.
  
“These arrests are a clear indication that we are making inroads and that the long arm of the law is catching up with dangerous criminals. We mean it when we say we will not live side by side with criminals, I am happy to announce 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.0
 
“He, together with other accused persons, are facing another charge of murder and they are due to appear in court on Monday, 12 February 2018,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)

Mbalula happy about Marikana murders arrests

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