Police examined the bodies of striking miners after opening fire on a crowd at a platinum mine near Rustenburg, South Africa in August 2012. Credit Associated Press

In The News South Africa

Stop glorifying Ramaphosa and focus on mineworkers, says Marikana activist

RUSTENBURG, April 4 (ANA) – Murder accused Napoleon Webster, a well known political activist in Marikana believes that the State’s case against him and his co-accused is politically motivated because of their relentless fight for justice for the families of 34 mineworkers who were killed in the August 2012 Marikana Massacre.

 

“I am being punished for my involvement in Marikana” Webster told a Weekly Xpose reporter today. “I have been outspoken about the fact that houses promised by Lonmin to the mineworkers have not been delivered. I have been very vocal about the inhumane conditions in Marikana. The State is now trying to silence me”.

 

Webster and his co-accused were denied bail on Tuesday. The accused have been held in custody for 84 days without bail, in a court case marked by postponements. Legal council for Webster,  Leofi Leshabana, said in court today that   “Our legal system must not be reduced to a political game”.  Leshabana, said the State rest its case on the evidence of a witness who has not even appeared before the court.

 

The State alleges that Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi and William Nyenyane and Napoleon Webster hacked Sabata Petros Chale to death in Marikana West, on December 8 last year, allegedly over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses.

 

Webster, in 2014 interrupted the cross questioning of Deputy President and former Director of Lonmin, Cyril Ramphosa during the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, with shouts of ‘blood on his hands’ causing a chorus of insults against Ramaphosa, who was directly implicated in the massacre but cleared by the Farlam Commission.

 

Webster told our reporter earlier today that he is concerned about the lack of media coverage on Marikana. Webster said “the media appears to have forgotten about Marikana, and its people. They are busy pushing Ramaphosa and pretending that the massacre did not happen. We are truly the forgotten people”.  An emotional Webster said “ordinary people in this country count for nothing but ordinary people lost their lives in Marikana and we cannot wish it away – I appeal to the media to stop glorifying Cyril and focus on the mineworkers”.

 

Webster continues to claim his innocence saying that the prosecution chose not to use crucial video footage from Shoprite in Marikana,  because they knew it was going to set him free. “They did not use the footage from Shoprite because they knew it was going to set me free. This matter must be taken to the Constitutional Court because this corrupt magistrate will not help us,” Webster said before he was led to holding cells.

 

 

The bail application against seven other men arrested in connection with Chale’s murder was expected to resume in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

 

– African News Agency (ANA) and Weekly Xpose reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *