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Africa

2012-08-31

AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - 270 miners have been incriminated in the deaths on August 16, "there is a risk of new protests," said the local Bishop

Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "It is very strange that miners are incriminated in the deaths on 16 August and not the police officers who fired real bullets against demonstrators" said to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Kevin Dowling, Bishop of Rustenburg, commenting on the charges of killing 270 miners, comrades of those killed by the police on August 16, in the platinum mine in Marikana. The local prosecutor indicted in fact 270 workers, who are still in prison, including those who were unarmed or who were on the margin of the crowd that clashed with police, who fired on the demonstrators, killing 34. In some previous clashes other 10 people died, including two policemen.
"The investigation concerning the behavior of the police is still open, so one should see if this will lead to a prosecution even against members of the police," added the Bishop. In the meantime, talks between the managers of the mine, trade unions and government mediators to find an agreement that allows to solve the crisis have been suspended. The talks will resume on Monday, September 3. "Let's hope for the best, but the negotiation is very slowly. The indictment of the miners is also likely to lead to more protests. The situation remains fragile," concluded Mgr. Dowling. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 31/08/2012)

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