Monday 3 September 2012

Murder charges against detained miners withdrawn in South Africa

People of Gauteng Province mourn during the commemoration ceremony in Johannesburg, Aug. 23, 2012. Gauteng Province held a ceremony in Johannesburg on Thursday to mourn for the 44 people who died during protests at the Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg in the North West province on Aug. 10, 2012. (Xinhua/Li Qihua)
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Sunday announced that it has withdrawn murder charges against the 270 miners arrested by police for suspected involvement in violent activities during labor unrest last month.
But the NPA said that it would lay murder charges against the miners once all investigations into the matter are completed.
"At this stage the investigations in this matter are far from being completed," said Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, acting National Director of Public Prosecutions.
"The murder charge against the current 270 suspects, which was provisional anyway, will be formally withdrawn provisionally in court on their next court appearance. Other provisional charges will remain," Jiba told a press conference in Pretoria.
The NPA on Thursday announced its decision to bring charges of murder, attempted murder, public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons and possession of firearms and ammunition against the miners for allegedly murdering their colleagues in labor unrest sparked by a wage protest. The legal move has drawn criticism from government officials as well as from the public.
The miners were arrested after police shot dead 34 miners in clashes after 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in violence linked to rivalry between two trade unions vying to gain dominance among the miners at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, the North West Province.
Meanwhile a veiled anchorwoman reading the news appeared on the Egyptian TV for the first time on Sunday upon a decision by the Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsud, the official news agency MENA reported.
Fatma Nabil appeared on the channel 1 midday broadcast, in the Muslim head cover. Other three anchorwomen will appear in Nile news channel, and weather forecast program, official news agency MENA reported.
Abdel Maqsud said, "Other veiled anchorwomen will appear on the Egyptian TV to activate the principle of equity in the media based on the spirit of Jan. 25 revolution".
The minister's decision reflected a change in the media policy following the islamists reached the power, since it was forbidden for veiled women to appear on state TV during Mubarak's time.
The state's TV anchorwomen were transferred to desk works if they decided to wear the headscarves before the uprising last year. In many cases, the veiled anchor sued TV's Union, but Mubarak's Ministry of Information didn't even respond to the court decisions to approve the veiled women work in front of the camera.(Xinhua)

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