Marikana commission musn't fail: AI

2012-09-27 07:32

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."

  • United.Red.Angel - 2012-09-27 08:58

    You guys realise that "musn't" isn't a word, right? Don't you guys use spell check??

      ludlowdj - 2012-09-27 11:08

      in a country where over 80% of the country is illiterate and matriculants have been proven to not be able to read or right, the last thing of importance is the grammar nazi

      United.Red.Angel - 2012-09-27 11:37

      I think you mean "write", and if grammar nazis didn't exist, I'm sure 100% of the country would be illiterate

  • cliffadams007 - 2012-09-27 09:20

    I have the greatest respect and confidence in the Commissioner, retired judge, Ian Farlam. He will not let the country, the miners, their families down, as long as the Government put the needed structures into place. I, like many, am looking forward to Government publishing (+- Feb-Apr 2013) the Final Report and to read the last chapter, which will be the findings and recommendations. All the best to the best to the Commissioner,his Staff and to all those who will be giving evidence before the Commission.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-27 11:07

    Of course it will be successful, the ANC will ensure it takes long enough for them to "successfully" cover up any wrong doing on the part of the police, while planting enough evidence to make the miners as guilty as hell, the normal ANC operating procedure.

  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-09-27 12:12

    The only reason for appointing a commission of inquiry is to "buy time" to allow the hue and cry to die down. It helps placate people, pretend that something is being done, buy time to identify scapegoats and in short, creates a legal mechanism to shove the whole thing under the carpet long after people have stopped caring about it. Whenever there is a big incident that could bring the government into disrepute, like this, a commission of inquiry is feverishly appointed. Let's face it, what is the 300 page report going to actually discover that we don't already know?

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