South African Miners Charged With Murder

... after police kill 34 of their striking co-workers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2012 4:04 PM CDT
A mine worker sings and dances during a gathering at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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(Newser) – This might take a little time to wrap your head around: South African authorities have charged 270 miners with murder after police shot dead more than 30 of their co-workers during a protest earlier this month, reports the Guardian. To do so, prosecutors dusted off an obscure law often used during the apartheid era. Essentially, they argue that the miners' actions forced the police to open fire, and thus the miners are the ones to blame.

"It's the police who were shooting, but they were under attack by the protesters, who were armed, so today the 270 accused are charged with the murders," a spokesman for national prosecutors tells AP. To which an opposition politician responds: "The policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them. This is madness. The whole world saw the policemen kill those people."

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