The police in Marikana have arrested three suspects in connection with the murder of an NUM branch chairperson, say officials.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) branch chairperson in Marikana, North West police said on Thursday.
"The police in Marikana arrested three suspects aged between 33 and 37 on Tuesday, in Nkaneng, Wonderkop Extension 2," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.
He said the three would appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court later on Thursday.
NUM branch chairperson William Setelele (46) was shot eight times and killed in Nkaneng informal settlement last week.
North West Premier Thandi Modise said the arrest gave her hope that peace and stability would be restored in Marikana.
"We welcome this breakthrough and commend police for the speedy arrest and call on the community to support police in their on-going investigations to ensure that those responsible for the recent spate of violence and killings are unmasked and brought to book soonest," she said.
Modise called on unions in the mining sector to respect the framework for peace and stability in the mining industry they had signed earlier this year, and to actively discourage their members from taking the law into their own hands.
Meanwhile, in August two men were arrested in Marikana in connection with the murder of an NUM shop steward, Isaiah Twala.
"The two suspects, aged 44 and 35, were arrested for the murder of Mr Twala that occurred on August 14 last year," said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane at the time.
He said Twala was murdered at a hill in Marikana, where he was shot and hacked to death. His body was found by police on the side of the hill along with the skull of a bull.
"The two suspects were arrested last night [Wednesday] by a team of detectives, at Nkaneng and Marikana West informal settlement."
The two deaths add to a string of murders that have taken place in the area following the Marikana massacre, in which 44 people were killed in August 2012 during strike-related violence at Lonmin.
Thirty four of them were shot dead by the police on August 16. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.
A 49-year-old Lonmin worker was shot in Wonderkop near the Marikana mine in July.
'The victim is a Lonmin employee'
"It is alleged that the victim was on his way to work when approached by unknown men who shot him with a firearm on the body and neck. The suspects allegedly fled the scene with a white Toyota Corolla with Gauteng province registration numbers," said Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone at the time.
He said the motive of the shooting was unknown and no arrests were made.
"Preliminary investigations revealed four shots were fired and that the victim is a Lonmin employee."
He said it was not clear if the shooting was related to other murder cases in the area, or linked to a rivalry between the NUM and Association of Mineworkers' and Construction Union (Amcu) at the Lonmin platinum mine in Rustenburg.
Meanwhile, in a seperate incident a man who was beaten up at the Nkaneng informal settlement while on his way to attend an NUM recruitment rally at the Wonderkop Stadium died on July 21. – Sapa