Marikana commission musn't fail: AI

2012-09-27 07:32


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Johannesburg - The commission of inquiry set up to investigate deaths in violence associated with the unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine must not fail, rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

Director for southern Africa, Noel Kututwa, said most of the deaths had been the result of excessive force used by police.

"It is vital that [the commission] is empowered, properly resourced and given the time to do everything necessary to uncover exactly what happened in Marikana and help ensure these horrific events are not repeated."

Kututwa urged the government to provide assurance that the commission's report would be made public within a specified time.

The commission's work would be difficult as it had to begin work at short notice and had tight deadlines.


Amnesty International's information suggested that 44 people were killed, but other reports put the total at 46.

On 16 August, 34 striking workers were killed when police opened fire and 78 were wounded.

A total of 270 workers were arrested afterwards.

Twelve others were killed in violence associated with the strike.

Kututwa said that potential witnesses needed assurance that they could give evidence to the commission without fear of reprisal.

The scope of the inquiry also needed to be defined.

"A robust, visibly impartial and open inquiry by the commission will provide a critical opportunity to begin to secure justice and redress for all those affected by the violence in Marikana."

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest

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