‘This is like Sharpeville’

2012-08-17 10:28

The South African Institute of Race Relations has called for the immediate suspension of all police officers involved in the fatal shooting of protesting miners in the North West yesterday.

“There is clear evidence that policemen randomly shot into the crowd with rifles and handguns.

There is also evidence of their continuing to shoot after a number of bodies can be seen dropping and others turning to run,” the institute’s CEO John Kane-Berman said.

He likened the shooting to that of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 during which 69 protesters were shot dead by the apartheid police.

Kane-Berman also said yesterday’s incident was a disaster waiting to happen, and that the officers must be suspended pending investigations of murder or culpable homicide.

“It would appear (police) were not properly equipped to control a crowd. Rifles are a no-no in such a situation.”

“What happened at Lonmin is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Police killed 35 miners in yesterday’s shooting. The death toll for the week stands at 45.

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