The decision by South African police to charge striking miners for responsibility for the deaths of 34 of their fellow strikers last week has shocked South African unions. COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said tonight:
“Charging mine workers for the killing of their own colleagues by the police goes beyond what words can describe. We demand their immediate release.”
COSATU has previously expressed concerns at the police shoot-to-kill tactics and have urged that people should not use the deaths at Marikana to pursue pre-existing political disputes. Its own response to the events at the Lonmin mine stresses the need for a full enquiry.