S.Africa minister says Marikana trial must run course

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South Africa’s resources minister said the trial of 270 striking miners for the murder of their co-workers must be allowed to run its course.

South African prosecutors on Thursday charged the miners with the murder of 34 co-workers shot dead by police using a measure called “common purpose” seldom used since the dying days of apartheid, arguing the miners were complicit in the killings since they were arrested at the scene with weapons.
“We have a clear rule of law in South Africa… we need to allow that space to run its course and at the end of the day the courts will decide,” South African minister for mineral resources Susan Shabangu told reporters on the sidelines of a mining conference in Perth, Reuters reports.

The killings, which occurred during a labour dispute at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine, were the deadliest security incident since apartheid ended in 1994. Ten additional people were killed in the clashes between strikers from the rival unions at Marikana.