Court told of Marikana miners' assault in custody
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The men appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa magistrate's court on Wednesday, where they were represented by about six lawyers, a team reportedly assembled by Julius Malema and the Friends of the Youth League.
"These accused were assaulted in custody. Some of them sustained injuries on the day of the arrest," said one of the lawyers.
"Those who were injured are not getting medical attention. Their bail application should be treated as a matter of urgency."
The City Press reported on Sunday that the incarcerated miners had been assaulted and tortured by police officials while awaiting trial.
On Wednesday, the defence team told the court that not all of the 260 men arrested at the mine worked there. Some of them were merely onlookers, lawyers said.
One lawyer expressed concerns about those with chronic illnesses getting their medication while in custody.
"My colleague here makes it sound as if it's easy to say to a policeman, 'I am on ARVs, may I have my medication?' It's not easy," the lawyer said, referring to prosecutor Nigel Carpenter.
Carpenter told the court earlier that the accused who were not in court on Wednesday would be held at the Ga-Rankuwa police station.
Only a few men from the group were in court because the room was not big enough to accommodate all of them. Those who appeared would have to convey what happened to the others.
They were arrested last Thursday after police opened fire on protesters near Lonmin's Marikana mine, North West, killing 34 and wounding 78.
President Jacob Zuma has appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the killings at Lonmin's Marikana mine, which has become something of a political battleground ahead of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung later this year. – Sapa