Police can't be trusted - bishop

2012-11-14 22:19

Rustenburg - South African police cannot be trusted, Pretoria's Anglican bishop Johannes Seoka told the Farlam Commission on Wednesday.

"If this is the evidence of police, I can tell you, having been a priest for 40 years, police in this country can never be trusted," he said.

The families of the 34 miners killed in a police shooting near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana on 16 August vocalised their agreement.

Seoka had been asked to match his version of a visit to the mine on 16 August with the timeline of events presented by the police.

Schalk Burger, for Lonmin, asked Seoka how much he knew of the events and circumstances surrounding the strike before he visited the area.

Showing photographic evidence, Burger asked whether Seoka knew about the 10 people killed in strike-related violence the week before the shooting, and whether he was familiar with the "brutal" nature of the killings.

Seoka had earlier criticised Lonmin management for failing to agree to meet with protesters under his mediation hours before the shooting.

"Why do you think mine management were not willing to go to the koppie [hill]?" Burger asked.

Seoka earlier indicated that Lonmin's human capital vice president Barnard Mokwena told him management would not meet workers until they had disarmed, elected a delegation of representatives and agreed to disperse.

Burger said he would argue that it was reasonable of management not to want to engage workers on the hill.

"It is evident that, by that time, the koppie had been secured by the SA Police Service for some time. I don't understand why you blame Lonmin [for not breaching the police cordons to visit the hill]."

Earlier, Seoka said the miners had not expected that rituals performed prior to the shooting would protect them from police bullets.

"[Claims about] the use of muti to protect workers against bullets... that's nonsense," he said.

"You are making black people [out] to be stupid. They are not stupid."

In a police presentation on Wednesday morning, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Scott showed video footage of, what he termed "perceived rituals" performed by the protesters.

Seoka also described being haunted by a telephone call he received from a protester during the August 16 shooting.

"The phone rang and a voice on the other side, in Xhosa, said: 'Bishop, where are you? We are being killed'," Seoka said.

He said he could hear gunshots and screams before the call was cut off.

"[The call] was sufficient to keep me awake for several nights."

The hearings continue on Thursday.

  • kim.buren - 2012-11-14 22:31

    The cANCer cannot be trusted either

      mondli.dlomo.73 - 2012-11-15 07:46

      yes the minority does not trust the ANC.

      michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-15 08:56

      @ mondli.dlomo.73 - I wonder why????? Your president singing "umshini wam" and that fat boy singing "Dubula ibunu"! Then hearing thousands of blacks ANC supporters singing the same thing at protests! And you wonder why we white people find it hard to trust the ANC and the ANC supporter!

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-14 22:34

    Nor can rabbits, rituals, ghosts, ancestors or invisible deities. Neat trick, bishop, trying to blame the cops to try retain your flock. If people weren't so misled, they'd have called the police and asked them to stop shooting. And now you perpetuate the myth with more hauntings. How very droll ("Curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement" for those who might mistake this for an Afrikaans word - but then again it could be that too:))

  • sas.kloppers - 2012-11-14 22:48

    Thank you Bishop. You are absolutely correct, and that includes each and every member of the police. They are now the best organised criminal gang this country has ever seen....

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-11-14 22:59

    The bishop has been defending the miners tooth and nail. At some point he even claimed that they weren't violent. Perhaps it is because they turned to him and he feels a sense of responsibility, but turning a blind eye to clear evidence is unbecoming of a man preaching for forty years.

  • george.mnisi.31 - 2012-11-14 23:04

    The bishop is lying. Shame. These people murdered 10 of their colleagues and police officers. They were armed to the teeth. Why are you protecting murderes. The truth shall set you free.

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2012-11-14 23:06

    Bishop what does the bible say to you about lying?

  • Phindile Manganyi - 2012-11-14 23:13

    This must be the most painful proceedings for the family,couldn't have wished that on any family,hearing and seeing evidence that is suppose to bring closure to the brutal murders of their loved ones...painful way of doing things

  • penny.stone.589 - 2012-11-14 23:16

    Did the bishop answer the question about the 10 killed prior to the police action? I don't see it reported here. I should imagine the 10 that were killed died more horribly. Being hacked to death by a mob would certainly take longer than a bullet in the head. Why is it we see photographs of the 34 that were killed by the police but no photographs of the 10 that were killed prior to that ghastly day? Mayhap I'd also shoot first and ask questions later if friends and colleagues had recently been slaughtered while doing their jobs. Just saying bishop...

      christina.setloboko - 2012-11-15 12:18

      yes don't see any answer from the bishop about the 10 people killed earlier, don't play hide and seek bishop answer the question please. who is fooling who here? stop hiding under the bishop name please, we know you are one of those miners, liar.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-11-14 23:17

    Truth always has a way of surfacing.. and as the old saying goes 'truth is stranger than fiction'

  • John - 2012-11-14 23:17

    SAPS is the biggest waste of time and space and taxpayer money gang of corrupt thugs I have ever had the misfortune to encounter! They only there to enforce CORPORATE POLICY! They have lost sight of the CONSTITUTION, if they were ever literate enough to read it! USELESS THUGS!

      aquilakahecate - 2012-11-15 06:09

      Spot on, John.

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-14 23:25

    Wtf...bishop, is there no more small boys in ur driver area? Now you looking for attention!

  • johnny.potatoes61 - 2012-11-14 23:48

    Oh bishop, you lie to people every Sunday. You are the one who can't be trusted.

  • bongani.mtsweni.35 - 2012-11-15 00:02

    I am an African. I am telling you the Bishop is lying and pretend not know what muti makes people thik.

      thabang.molelekoa - 2012-11-15 05:00

      So, your condoning the fact that Africans are idiots?

      johan.fourie.566 - 2012-11-15 06:01

      @thabang...I know English is maybe not your first language but are you sure that what you wrote here is what you want to say?

      bongani.mtsweni.35 - 2012-11-15 07:49

      Thabang I never said African are idiots but I know for a fact what the muti makes them think like

  • gaeleen - 2012-11-15 00:24

    Nor can politicians government and attention seekers

  • mzoxolo.khaba - 2012-11-15 01:19

    What we saw to poor black people(police&miners) fighting 4 something they do not own the land and its mineral, Incompetency nd lack of leadership were the order of de day.

      Jubs Mthiyane - 2012-11-15 03:08

      do you mean,using violence is the right way to fight of what is yours?

      Jaap - 2012-11-15 07:12

      Khaba, the so-called poor black people killed other poor black people in the most savage way possible. Lots of people of all colors also don't own land and minerals but they don't go about killing people burning and destroying property. As for your statement of incompetency and lack of leadership, you need to wake-up and think who is the actual incompetents in this country. The UK is called a Kingdom because they have a King, why do you think South Africa is called a Country.

  • chris.braum - 2012-11-15 01:47

    It would appear that the good bishop is somewhat biased and judgmental. Lonmin's management was correct in refusing to meet armed strikers en masse. Having previously been threatened, that would have amounted to suicide. If the good bishop believed that alone he had the power to protect Lonmin’s management from the masses, then he needs to learn a little humility. However small a percentage of the striking miners acted in a criminal manner is irrelevant, as the rest did not distance themselves from the crimes committed. Lonmin had a negotiated and contracted agreement with their labour in force until mid 2013. They are well within their rights to refuse to negotiate with the illegal strikers and, in fact, showed fair restraint by not exercising their right to fire them en masse. Had they given in to the criminality, they would not have being doing our country, and our strained economy, any favours.

      Jubs Mthiyane - 2012-11-15 03:13

      people need to learn that ,when you engage into stricking,no weapons should be carried,its not war,its a protest,i'm not taking sides,i'm against weapons on labour strikes

      thabang.molelekoa - 2012-11-15 04:57

      Nobody, has the right to take a human life... If that is the case, then bring the death penalty and start with all murderers, rapists, and child molesters, then we look at the police themselves..

      sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-11-15 05:01

      Another Marikana analysts, hundreds of k's from the scene. Shut it broe. Jy ken niks

  • johnny.august.31 - 2012-11-15 04:34

    Ntate Bishop during the negotiations ,I thought u are there to Unite the warring Parties But now u want to blame the POLICE ,U Have lost the trust of South Africans ,Where on earth can mine management go N negotiate with 3000 armed angry Men after they Brutally killed 10 people ,Ntate Bishop please for the sake of ur own dignity n credibility try not to be decisive B a unifier u the man of God

  • Joe Thembinkosi Khosa - 2012-11-15 05:48

    Bishop he's a Liar

  • rude.awakning - 2012-11-15 05:55

    bishop, i was under the misguided understanding that your functions as a clergyman was to guide and advise people from wrong to right! It would appear that you are fueling a run away fire rather than to put it out! You have entered the malema level , which is a point of no return. Where do you find the time to deal with labour issues if your area are clearly plagued by rape of kids, killing of elderly, robbery and theft due to moral degeneration! These miners (majority off) were looking for a fight and to spill blood, evident by their actions of the preceeeding days! Where were you when the miners were killing policemen?

  • janis.moolman - 2012-11-15 06:08

    I cant trust a bishop.

  • fhulufhelo.frederick - 2012-11-15 06:08

    What a stupit bishop,I wonder what did u tell ur followers,better join politics cos u don't face the thruth,u need deliverance,who deserve 2 die,ur such a stupit bararic pastor

  • ontlhabanetsesteve.baepile - 2012-11-15 06:17

    I am a mineworker the pondo tribe believes in muti ritual bishop is a lier.

  • phoofolo.lebohang - 2012-11-15 06:29

    He just need public attenetion... I'm not surprised about what he says, bcoz he's also a human being. To be a pastor it doesn't mean you are holly,an angel or God.

  • muke.matshaba - 2012-11-15 06:41

    Who the hell he thinks he is n what does he know about Muthi?A potilical oppotunists

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-15 06:41

    This bishop is generalising. You cannot trust cops. However, everyone with eyes could see what was happening at Marikana. And this time, the cops were right!

  • matshane.seleko - 2012-11-15 06:51

    As far as I know,this is supposedly a demcratic police force,put in place by a democratic government,and now we are branding it useless,corrupt,criminal and brutal.All these accusations,perhaps with the exception of 'useless',were also hurled at the apartheid police force.If we,bishops and all,feel that the police are all these ugly things mentioned earlier in the article,what are we doing to correct it?What about those that are doing their work with absolute honesty and dedication?Why paint all of them with the same brush of accusations?

  • mandla.yende.75 - 2012-11-15 06:51

    The tragedy of the South African story is how we recycle the same old tired cliche. I honestly believe that the bishop didn't see the shooting, I doubt the credibility of the story of a person phoning him during a violent confrontation and him hearing a clear message, all told its hearsay and personal opinion from the bishop. He has hardly supplied any evidence for his pathological mistrust of police. Its a very gross and unfair generalisation from a supposed neutral man of the cloth.

      esau.banyane - 2012-11-15 08:31

      Man of cloth cannot be trusted in this case just cant believe he says it as if he could hear it all.

  • victor.mahasha - 2012-11-15 06:53

    Seoka is a husller, man of god dont judge people he is the one who must not be trusted.

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2012-11-15 06:54

    Ask me ! If you trust the police , you do so at your peril ! Unless you are naïve like an ANC supporter .

  • jacyjays.letsoalo - 2012-11-15 07:09

    The killing was senseless and barbaric to say the least, Josep Stalin once said a \single death is a tragedy and a million death a statistic\ and that is the feeling I have with this commission! It is just to cover-up, protect, save face of the poor tragedy! Speaking from a distance, I feel both the Police and miners including relevant authorities made an error of Judgement in this regard! Days towards the biggest tragedy, we all witnessed on TV the violence that was perpertrated by some of the miners towards those who excercised their rights not to striken by killing and maiming them, undressing them etc. Intervention measures were self centered, everyone wanted to play his role, politicians, unions and even the clergy including the mining officials! Now this commissions is far worse than the TRC cos it seems as if it won't be finding facts but just pointing fingers with some politicians even laughing while footage is shown! My point is, finger pointing won't bring back the lost lives and my simple observation in South Africa is that we lack leaders who can mediate peacefully. Some of them like Julius Malema went there on a mission to stir the fire, where is he now? All parties are to blame for this tragedy and since when have muthi prevented bullets or made ppl invincible and this is a prevalence in our black communities to believe that muthi caries our destiny. May their souls rest in peace and close down that TRC

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-11-15 07:12

    In God We Put Our TRUST

      Hein Van Wyk - 2012-11-15 07:25

      but a bishop is still a man...

      rude.awakning - 2012-11-15 21:50

      seen a sign in a store that said 'In God we trust, and the rest pays in cash only'!

  • Piet Pieter - 2012-11-15 07:24


  • sydney.nhlapo.3 - 2012-11-15 07:43

    How can someone u barely knew decides to call you in his moment of death? u r lying Bishop!

      esau.banyane - 2012-11-15 08:34

      R u sayin a man of cloth has just told lies publicly on air, then if so how r they 2 b trusted?

  • piet.snot.77964 - 2012-11-15 07:53

    South African police cannot be trusted, Pretoria's Anglican bishop Johannes Seoka told the Farlam Commission on Wednesday. Dear Bishop - I think that you missed one word in your statement: SOME police Seeing what some Clergy have got up to it would not be right if I said: The Clergy cannot be trusted

  • benjamin.mathebula.7 - 2012-11-15 07:57

    What busnss do the bishop have with the strikers? What do the bible say? He's not a true priest but a wolf in sheep's skin. If the strikers can go with this case i wil ask for zimbabwe citizenship.

  • millward3 - 2012-11-15 08:01

    Police fight for our safety and security daily, how dare he make such an acusation! Do not taint the police's image due to a few wayward few. That corrupt element lies in every sphere of government,corporation and yes, religon!

  • michael.jackwood - 2012-11-15 08:15

    Bishop Seoka if you want to start a political party or a mine workers union just do it, in other words you are actualy saying miners in that situation are the ones to trusted. I appreciate mediation role you played in that situation, but dont blame police for protecting themselves, the commision of enquiry will give us answers in the end, not you sir.

  • lekgwakgwa.mohlatlole - 2012-11-15 08:55

    South Africa police still need more training to deal with strike and how to introduce your self when you want to search a person, you can not stop person and start to do what you want without telling him what is your name and ask to search him more training please to police.

      Caliwe - 2012-11-15 10:21

      U can say that again. The law faills us

  • delelani - 2012-11-15 10:13

    Yes Bishop, we can and should only trust Bishops and Priests!!! Wtf?

  • flysouth - 2012-11-15 13:18

    He is right, the cops cannot be trusted, that much we have known for years. However neither can this shady priest who has a history that is quite distasteful!

  • ann.tyrrell.395 - 2012-11-15 14:09

    Did those miners, who visited a sangoma, who gave them muti to become 'invisible', Not beleive themselves to be 'invisible' before rushing the police? Just asking. In that case I too would have opened fired.

  • Noxville - 2012-11-15 15:03

    Can't trust this bishop at all. He doesn't move diagonally.

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