In a hastily arranged news conference Sunday, officials from the National Prosecuting Authority said that they would await the outcome of further investigations into the shootings, but did not rule out bringing murder charges again.
“Final charges will only be made once all investigations have been completed. The murder charges against the current 270 suspects will be formally withdrawn provisionally in court,” said Nomgcobo Jiba, the acting national director of prosecutions, told reporters.
Prosecutors also said they had not ruled out charges against the police.
“The actions of the police will be sorted out still,” said Johan Smit, a provincial prosecutor in the region where the strike took place told reporters. “We’re not ignoring that.”
270 miners were recently charged en masse by prosecutors using a mechanism, “common purpose,” which was common during the Apartheid era and allowed prosecutors to charge an entire crowd for the crimes of just a few people.