Bizos blasts police at Marikana commission

2012-10-22 15:58

Veteran human rights lawyer Advocate George Bizos said a police officer has come very close to saying that he shot to kill striking mineworkers in Marikana on August 16 because they had killed two of his colleagues days earlier.

Bizos, who represents the Legal Resources Centre in the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, made the remarks in his opening statement before the commission earlier today.

He said he would lead expert evidence according to which the police’s handling of the situation on the day, when they shot dead 34 striking miners, was unheard of all over the world.

Bizos also said it appeared the police had been misled by remarks made by people in high office to “shoot to kill”.

He said his legal team would demand to know who had authorised the use of live ammunition, and would seek answers as to how it came about that a big number of miners were shot in the back.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who represents 21 families of the dead miners, said the conduct of the police on the day was uncalled for, and that they had gone out to destroy the miners like vermin.

Ntsebeza told the commission that he was in possession of evidence that 14 of the dead were shot in the back or in the back of their heads.

He said he would contend in his evidence that death and injury were predictable as a result of police conduct leading up to August 16, and that the use of automatic weapons against the miners was astonishing.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 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.