The Justice Ministry on Sunday welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to withdraw murder charges against 270 Lonmin mineworkers.
“We welcome the decision but will await formal report as requested,” said Justice Minister Jeff Radebe.
The workers were initially charged with murder, attempted murder and public violence following the unrest that left 34 people dead and 78 others injured on August 16.
The NPA said the group would be issued with warnings concerning the murder charges on their next court appearance on September 6.
The other charges would remain.
The African National Congress has also welcomed the move.
“This decision will allow the Commission of Inquiry established by the President to do its work and for police to continue with their investigations,” said party spokesman, Jackson Mthembu.
Meanwhile, the ‘Friends of the Youth League’ which is associated with axed ANC Youth League head, Julius Malema blamed the Lonmin tragedy on the country’s leadership.
Floyd Shivambu of the group said : “If there was leadership in South Africa, the lengthy unreasoned, horrible and inhuman incarnation and imprisonment of mineworkers who survived the massacre would have been avoided.”
The ‘Friends of the Youth League’ have vowed to stand behind the workers who continue to demand higher wages.