Johannesburg: All 270 South African miners arrested after the shootings at Marikana mine were on Thursday charged in court with the murder of 34 colleagues, who were killed in police firing.
On Aug 16, striking miners armed with clubs, machetes and at least one gun allegedly charged at police.
South African Police then opened fire, killing 34 miners which triggered a wave of shock and outcry throughout the nation.
The verdict comes in line with an old Roman-Dutch common law called as the "common purpose" doctrine.
The decision to charge the miners with the murder of 34 miners was condemned by former ruling ANC party youth leader Julius Malema as he said that it was “madness”.
“The whole world saw the policemen kill those people," Mr Malema said.
The politically controversial decision by South African authorities reflects that President Jacob Zuma’s government is trying to shift the blame for the killings from police to the striking miners.
With Agency Inputs