Lonmin’s Marikana mine controversy far from over: survivors allegedly 'shot again'

Protesting South African miners who survived the initial shooting by police at Lonmin’s (LON:JSE) Marikana mine last August may have been "searched and then shot again," the commission investigating the events leading to the death of 34 miners heard on Thursday.

According to iAfrica.com, it has come to light that protesters who were arrested after the shooting were shot by police officers.

What is more, veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos, who represents the families of the Lonmin miners killed, said there would be enough evidence to say the police had planned to shoot miners and not arrest them.

Mmegi online quotes Bizos as saying the police are failing to prove that officers at Marikana were equipped with handcuffs on the day of the shooting and that nobody has explained in a satisfactory way why police officers had watched the crowds congregating without stopping them:

 "Do you know of any police operation from anywhere in the world where police attempted to make arrests where thousands of people had gathered? (…) If I may say, it is a crazy plan [to make arrests in a big crowd] and one can say it was impossible to carry out such an operation," Bizos said.

If the plan was to disarm and disperse the people, Bioz told The Mail and Guardian, one could have expected the police to disarm the around 100 people who gathered in the morning rather than wait for 3,500 people to arrive.

The three-member commission of inquiry, known as the Farlam commission, will continue to hold public hearings at the Rustenburg civic centre into the killings in Marikana in the coming days.

(Image from our archives)


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