South Africa: Miners charged with murdering colleagues

270 miners arrested after violent clashes have been charged with murdering 34 colleagues who were shot dead by police.

The South African state prosecuting service has cited an obscure common law previously used during apartheid in order to make the charges, which also include the attempted murder of the 78 miners who were injured in the violent incident at the Marikana mine last week.

The 270 miners, all men, had appeared in court charged with public violence over the clashes at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine. Violence broke out when striking miners, who were protesting over pay, allegedly charged police with weapons. The police opened fire, killing 34 miners. According to the prosecuting authority, all 270 miners had been charged.

Less than ten percent of Lonmin’s miners arrived for work at the Marikana mine this week, while violence has since spread to other areas of its business.

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