Who gave permission to kill? - Bizos

2012-10-22 18:47
George Bizos (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

George Bizos (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Police 'deeply regret' Marikana

2012-10-22 14:42

Police bosses said they have "deep regrets" about the lives lost during the Marikana shootings, the Marikana Inquiry heard on Monday. Watch.WATCH

Rustenburg - The judicial inquiry into the Marikana shootings must establish who told the police to use live ammunition on protesting miners, human rights lawyer George Bizos, said on Monday.

The conduct of the SA Police Service officers was "unique", he told the three-member judicial commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, North West.

"We are going to call in experts to prove that what the police did on 16 August is unheard of in the whole world. We are going to ask for permission to cross-examine those who gave [the] permission," he said.

"If you have 3 000 protesting people on one side, some of them armed, and you turn R-5s and R-6s on them, that is unique and historically that is incorrect."

Bizos is representing the Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation in the inquiry.

He said his team would present evidence to prove that the shootings on 16 August were acts of revenge by police officers, for the earlier deaths of their colleagues.

"Is it a matter of good luck or divine intervention that we have 34 protesters killed and not a single injury to a policeman?" asked Bizos.

"We have read many papers, maybe we have missed the part which says a police officer was scratched, never mind being shot, on August 16."


Acts of revenge would not solve the problems of the police, workers, and the country as a whole, Bizos said.

Statements claiming the authorisation to use live ammunition either came from national police commissioner Riah Phiyega or Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa needed to be examined.

"It may be necessary for all the people concerned in this to be interrogated. They [the police officers] may have been influenced by someone in a high authority - the 'shoot to kill' sentiment."

Bizos said it would have to be established why the forensic examination of the bodies found that most were shot in the back.

"Some of these people were shot whilst running away. Some were shot far from the place of the danger [a hill near the Nkaneng informal settlement].

"Who took that decision to shoot?" Bizos repeatedly asked.

Police have maintained they fired at the protesters as a last resort when the armed crowd charged at them.

On 16 August police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks, and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on 10 August, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500.

Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and another two security guards.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.



11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.