15 May 2013
Police numbers have been reinforced in the Marikana area in North West province following the resurgence of tensions between miners over the last few days, Police Minister Mthethwa said on Wednesday, urging union leaders to discourage their members from embarking on illegal protests or brandishing weapons.
Tensions between members of rival unions Amcu and the NUM have been running high since the murder of Amcu regional leader Mawethu Joseph Steven and two brothers, said to be members of NUM, in separate incidents over the weekend.
Mthethwa said the North West provincial police were investigating the killings, and with the help of the public would ensure that those responsible were brought to book.
“These tragic killings take place at a time when we are still observing and respecting proceedings of the commission of inquiry into the Marikana tragedy,” Mthethwa said.
“We therefore call upon all in society to uphold the law because as government we shall not tolerate any massacre or intimidation of any law abiding citizen.
“We urge members of society to come forward with any information that can fast-track the investigation and not to harbour the perpetrators. It is only through this working together that we can ensure that we punish the murderers.”
Mthethwa said the police were monitoring the situation in Marikana closely, and urged the strikers “to refrain from carrying any dangerous weapons publicly, because that is against the law.
“Whilst we have emphasized the point that to protest is a legitimate and a constitutionally enshrined democratic right, brandishing of dangerous weapons during such gatherings is illegal.”