Union stands by policemen charged over Marikana shootings
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says it will support officers facing charges in connection with the clash between police and striking miners at Marikana mine four years ago.
"We want to categorically state that we stand by those accused police officials and if the South African Police Service (SAPS) does not represent them‚ we will. The principle of innocent until proven guilty should respectively be observed in this matter‚" Popcru said on Monday.
The union added it was hopeful that the Police Ministerial Transformation Task Team’s review of all SAPS policies and operational standards "that disadvantage police officers’ working environment‚ living conditions and career progression will be adequately addressed in improving the overall functionality of this important component".
Charges have been laid against police generals who led the operations when 34 miners were killed. The National Prosecuting Authority must decide whether the charges will be pursued.
Some junior officers have also been charged with murder and attempted murder for killings committed during the unrest.
A total of 44 people‚ including miners‚ security officers and policemen‚ were killed in the protracted and violent labour dispute near Rustenburg in the North West.