IPID probing Marikana shooting

2012-08-17 12:35

Johannesburg - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the police's role in the deaths of more than 30 people in a clash at Lonmin's Marikana mine, it said on Friday.

"The investigation will seek to establish if the police action was proportional to the threat posed by the miners," spokesperson Moses Dlamini said in a statement.

"It is still [too] early in the investigation to establish the real facts around this tragedy," he said.
Investigators were working with the criminal record centre and ballistics experts, and would focus on collecting all the relevant evidence to assist in the investigation.

The police ministry said on Friday that "over 30" people died, and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said that 36 people were killed when police opened fire on protesters gathered at a hill near the mine on Thursday afternoon.

Union rivalry

Another 10 people - including two police officers, two security guards and three NUM shop stewards - were killed in separate incidents since the start of an illegal strike last Friday.

The strike was believed to be linked to rivalry between the NUM and Amcu over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages.

They claimed to be earning R4 000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1 000. Reported demands have included pay of R12 500 a month.

The workers had based themselves on a hilltop near the mine. Many of them were armed. They were shot when police tried to disperse the group.

A Sapa reporter on the scene said that after about three minutes of shooting, he counted 18 bodies lying on the ground.

Dlamini said IPID executive director Francois Beukman and a team from its national office would be briefed by an investigation team deployed at Marikana. He would then visit the scene.

‘Be careful’

Investigators from the IPID's offices in North West and Gauteng had been "working around the clock" since the shooting, he said.

Meanwhile, more than 50 police vehicles and at least 60 policemen were visible at the mine on Friday, ahead of a police briefing on the shootings. Two helicopters were intermittently circling the area.

"Be careful," said a security guard, who was busy checking in local and international media gathering for a press conference led by National Police Commissioner Riyah Phiyega.

She was expected to reveal further details about the shooting.

Barbed wire added an extra layer of protection at the mine, which has been shut down for all except essential services.

  • scheepers - 2012-08-17 12:47

    The unions make them believe they should get a 300% increase

  • chrisfourielipman - 2012-08-17 12:50

    Sharpville massacre March 1960..... Marikana massacre August 2012..... South African police opened fire on the crowd...... Sadly, South Africa will never change.

  • julie.vanniekerk.3 - 2012-08-17 12:55

    The police only did their job!

  • gustav.kriel.3 - 2012-08-17 12:56

    ok seriously now...why the big fuss about this shooting?? Give it 2 weeks and 30 more farmers will be killed... The farmers will die in a much worse way than the dumb strikers... just saying...

  • thomanim - 2012-08-17 12:59

    their demands are not realistic nd carrying the weapons means they are ready to kill since they already killed the police officers nd what choice did the police have apart from using the guns to protect themselves.The union reps must take the blame for this.

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-08-17 12:59

    "They were shot when police tried to disperse the group". The video on the web appeared as if they were storming the police, and not dispersing. Time they decided if it was a union turf war or wage dispute. Me thinks it a turf was, but they can blame it on the "imperial racist capitalists" if you call it a wage dispute.

  • jackal666.daniel - 2012-08-17 13:17

    They shot at the cops first! I would have shot back as well!

  • introvert.introverts - 2012-08-17 13:22

    This time SAPS has gone far.I doubt if this democracy is improving with these kinds of actions.

  • jana.vandernest - 2012-08-17 13:25

    now theyve suspended the cops! not right! not right at all! the next time u pick.up the phone and need a cop. remember they get suspended for doing their jobs and keep in mind they work with half the force and half the equipment they actually need. queation? if an angry armed mob came running down a hill at you waving knives, spears etc. what wud you do?!?! is that not a direct threat and a declaration of war... anywhere else in the world if you bear arms at the cops...ur gonna get hurt. is it to bear arms at police?\r\nplease people! were always waffling endlessly about our saps yet when they do what theyre there for we kick them to the curb. as for international pressure. take a look around. if this happened in any of your so called first world countries your security forces would have done much worse....

  • jana.vandernest - 2012-08-17 13:27

    we the people are behind the saps!!!!!

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-08-17 13:39

    I understand they were storming at the police with machetes...

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-17 13:55

    Hold on... there was an article today saying that the laws around shooting is changing... so YEAH... they ONLY did that to cover up this bull!!

  • morne.s.smit.5 - 2012-08-17 14:04

    Are we sure this is today and not a scene from 30 years ago!

  • hennie.vanjaarsveld.12 - 2012-08-17 14:10

    investigate what?it was self defence no1 will just stand around with gun in hand waiting to be hacked to death like the other two unfortunite police officers

  • shihanandre - 2012-08-17 18:00

    Well done SAPS!!! Rioters and criminals in this Country think they are in control and can disrupt, kill and vandalize as they will! If this happen more often, law en order may come back to this Country!! Ask nicely once and shoot the second time!!!

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