Marikana Inquiry: S. African Police Lied About Shootings

Marikana Inquiry: S. African Police Lied About Shootings

In a scathing criticism of police conduct, a South African commission of inquiry said today that police lied about the shooting of 34 striking miners at Marikana in 2012, according to a report in BusinessStandard.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission to investigate the killing by police of 34 striking miners on Aug. 16, 2012, at a mine run by platinum giant Lonmin, the report said.

Police said they acted in self defense.

The commission said police hard drives were handed over willingly.

“We have obtained documents which in our opinion demonstrate that the (police) version of the events at Marikana… is in material respects not the truth,” the statement said. It referred to documents which “give the impression that they are contemporaneous documents, but which appear in fact to have been constructed after the events to which they refer.”

The statement against the police is considered unusual, since the commission has not yet wrapped up its work, the report said.

“Absent a convincing explanation, the material which we have found has serious consequences for the further conduct of the work of this commission,” the commission said.

The commission will adjourn until Wednesday so investigators can go through thousands of pages.

The allegations “have not been tested as yet by the commission,” inquiry spokesman Tshepo Mahlangu said. “The judge clarified the matter to say that these are not findings of the commission, it is evidence of some wrongdoing that the investigators have come across.”