Johannesburg – South Africa’s Institute for Socio-Economic Rights (Seri) has been disappointed after the North West High Court acquitted four senior officers last week for the Marikana massacre almost a decade ago .
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it is still studying the judgment in order to make an informed decision.
North West NPA spokesman Henry Mamothame said they would issue a statement as soon as they finalized their decision,
The former deputy provincial commissioner of police, General Mzondase Mpembe, and his three co-defendants, have filed a complaint for having defeated justice for ends by withholding information about the circumstances surrounding the death of Modisaotsile Segalala, who died in police custody when striking miners took part in a wage strike on August 16, 2012.
Mpembe was acquitted along with Brigadier Jacobus van Zyl, Brigadier Dingaan Madoda and Lt. Col. Oupa Pule by the court last week.
Senior officers were acquitted for violating the law on the independent direction of police investigations by failing to report the death of a minor in custody and also violating the commission law by not disclosing the death in their report of Segalala in police custody.
Seri is a non-profit human rights organization that supports the widows of victims of the Marikana massacre.
“The families of the deceased miners in Marikana are very disappointed with the outcome of the criminal proceedings against the police who allegedly covered up the circumstances surrounding Segalala’s death. What we do know is that Segalala did not die in the hospital, there is no record of who brought him to the hospital and we know that in the commission of inquiry, the SAPS did not disclose that he died in police custody; now we are told that around 30 police officers knew about this, ”Seri executive director Nomzamo Zondo said.
She said that for the families it is disappointing that no one is reporting on this, and that the information was not given to the Segalala family in 2012 or to the commission.
Zondo said families, including the Segalala family, have been eagerly awaiting what the NPA and Ipid plan to do.
The Northwest High Court’s decision came after Police Minister Bheki Cele released a report on policing and crowd management following the massacre nearly ten years ago.
Cele also announced last week that more than R 176 million had been paid by the government to the families of miners killed in Marikana.