Five in court for deadly petrol bombing of mineworkers' bus

14 May 2018 - 10:53 By Naledi Shange
Image: SAPS

The five men alleged to have been behind the petrol-bombing of a bus carrying mineworkers in Limpopo appeared briefly in court on Monday.

"They will appear again before the Mecklenburg Magistrate's Court on July 12 for legal representation of their choice and for further police investigations. They are all in custody with no bail‚" said Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.

The five suspects were named as Sipho Khumalo‚ 28; Aubrey Tjie‚ 35; Thabo Mokgala‚ 33; Philimon Makwana‚ 34; and Kgaogelo Moime‚ 30. They all face charges of murder‚ attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

Six Modikwa Platinum Mine workers - four men and two women - were burnt beyond recognition at the fiery attack in April outside Driekop.

The bus immediately caught fire‚ instantly killing the six and injuring 28 others. Around 50 mineworkers were on board at the time.

Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba had assembled a high-level team of investigators of the Hawks‚ the Provincial Organised Crime unit and the Provincial Crime Intelligence unit to track down those responsible for the deadly blast shortly after it happened.

A reward of up to R500,000 had also been offered.

"Preliminary investigations indicate that the Segweka Bus Service was busy collecting Modikwa Platinum Mine workers going for a night shift‚ between 8pm and 9pm on Monday. When the bus stopped at Driekop bus stop‚ two unknown suspects got into the bus and set it alight‚ using a highly flammable liquid.

"They then jumped out‚ leaving behind the bus already engulfed in flames‚" Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said at the time.