JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority says it is charging 270 arrested miners with the murders of 34 striking colleagues who were shot and killed by police officers.
The strange development - which comes under an arcane Roman-Dutch common law - seems to show that President Jacob Zuma's government is attempting to shift the blame for the killings from police to the striking miners. The killings shocked the nation and Thursday's news likely will inflame already angry South Africans.
Prosecuting Authority spokesman Frank Lesenyego says all 270 miners arrested after the shootings were charged Thursday at a court near the Lonmin PLC platinum mine where the fatalities occurred.
On Aug. 16, striking miners armed with clubs, machetes and at least one gun allegedly charged at police, who opened fire.