It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Workers arrested at South Africa's Marikana mine have been charged in court with the murder of 34 of their colleagues shot by police.
The 270 workers would be tried under the "common purpose" doctrine because they were in the crowd which confronted police on 16 August, an official said.
The decision to charge the workers was "madness", said former ruling ANC party youth leader Julius Malema.
"The policemen who killed those people are not in custody, not even one of them. This is madness," said Mr Malema, who was expelled from the ANC (African National Congress) earlier this year following a series of disagreements with President Jacob Zuma.
Source - BBC, ongoing coverage
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Frank Lesenyego told the BBC the 270 workers would all face murder charges - including those who were unarmed or were at the back of the crowd.
"This is under common law, where people are charged with common purpose in a situation where there are suspects with guns or any weapons and they confront or attack the police and a shooting takes place and there are fatalities," he said.
Striking workers at the South African mine where police shot dead 34 miners on Thursday face a deadline to go back to work or face dismissal.
A statement from mine owner Lonmin said 3,000 workers were striking illegally and must report to work on Monday.
The company delayed the deadline from Friday in light of the killings at the Marikana platinum mine, north-west of Johannesburg.
Nay, the point of life rather is to stand up and resist tyranny at every turn no matter how costly. To bear any burden for freedom, uplift and unshackle the minds and spirits of your fellows.
"Heavily armed police hunted down and killed the miners in cold blood,” wrote South African photographer Greg Marinovich on the Daily Maverick news website.
Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African archbishop who was renowned for his opposition to the apartheid regime in his native country, refused to attend a summit with the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, due to Blair's role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq."Ultimately, the archbishop is of the view that Mr. Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible," his office said in a statement.