South Africa starts investigating mine violence

PTI Marikana | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 02, 2012

South African President Jacob Zuma ordered judicial investigation to determine the causes of the Police killings which shook the nation. File Photo.

A judicial panel on monday investigated the rocky site where South African Police killed 34 striking miners on August 16.

Crime experts showed the Commission of Inquiry the scene of the Police shootings that were South Africa’s worst state violence since apartheid ended in 1994. President Jacob Zuma ordered the judicial investigation to determine the causes of the Police killings which shook the nation.

More than 100 people, including many protesting against the killings, followed the members of the judicial panel as they visited the scene. “Don’t let the Police get away with murder,” was written on placards carried by several protesters.

Among those participating in inquiry is George Bizos, former lawyer for Nelson Mandela and now of the Legal Resources Center, which is representing some family members of the dead miners.

In addition to those killed, some 78 were injured and more than 250 arrested in the incident.

During the tour, a crime expert pointed out where bodies and shotgun cartridges were found.

Today was the first day of the four-month-long investigation into the killings at the Marikana mines. At least 12 more people were killed in other violence, including two Policemen, bringing the total death toll during the strike to 46.

“This is very important to us,” said a Marikana miner watching the group navigating the scene of the Police shootings. “I hope those involved are found out and they must be brought to jail”.

“We are still afraid,” he said of the Police. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The inquiry launched today focuses on violence at a Lonmin PLC Platinum mine 94 kms northwest of Johannesburg.

The Marikana Commission of inquiry, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, will determine the roles played by the police, Lonmin, the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

It will also determine whether any of those investigated could have put measures into place to prevent the violence.

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Published on October 02, 2012
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