‘Wrongful arrest’ victims threaten legal action against Mbalula to clear their names

Some of the men allegedly wrongfully arrested in connection with the Marikana killing in Cape Town are shocked at still being regarded as suspects by police minister Fikile Mbalula.

Mbalula and police top brass were left red-faced after he tweeted pictures of a “midnight criminal” shake-up‚ only for it to be revealed later that the 10 “suspects” were released without being charged. They were on their way to a funeral in the Eastern Cape.

Mbalula said in response to the furore on Friday that a man being transported to the funeral in a coffin was a suspect. He said those released were still “on our radar”.

Zukile Sikade‚ a family member who was arrested and released‚ said he was not aware of any criminal activity by the man who had died.

“How are we suspects? We are family to him. Some were cousins and others grew up with him. We didn’t know if he was involved in crime. I was shocked when they claimed he was a suspect because I knew him as a taxi driver‚” said Sikade.

He said he did not think that Mbalula had any evidence linking them to criminal activities. “Secondly‚ if we were criminals who shot people‚ we would not be travelling in a group like that‚” he added.

Sikade‚ who is also a taxi driver‚ said most of the people they were travelling with to Lady Frere were family members and close friends who grew up with the deceased.

“He has made a mistake but he is refusing to admit to it‚” he added. Sikade said it was important for the group to take legal action against Mbalula in order to clear their names.

Thabile Yame‚ who was also arrested‚ said he was afraid that whenever there was a killing in Marikana the police would come after him. “They are dragging our names on the mud and people are going to end up believing them‚” he said.

Skade said it was odd that the police only identified the deceased as a suspect after his death

“Police have never even come here asking about him. I am now shocked that people are saying he is a suspect when we are on the way to bury him‚” he added.

 

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