SAHRC defends Marikana probe

2012-09-13 22:24

Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has defended its decision to investigate the Marikana tragedy.

It said on Thursday it was acting within its constitutional mandate.

In terms of the Constitution, the SAHRC had to investigate and report on the observance of human rights, and to take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights had been violated.

"The SAHRC is therefore far from wasting resources...

"The SAHRC is an independent Chapter Nine institution subject only to the Constitution and the law," it said.

It had recently spoken to the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice, where members had expressed concerns about a possible duplication of Marikana probes.

The committee acknowledged the commission's independence, but was concerned about potential conflicts of interests, wasteful costs incurred by duplicating investigations, and the scope of the SAHRC commission.

President Jacob Zuma has also set up a commission of inquiry into the Marikana violence that has claimed 45 lives so far.

The SAHRC said the concern that it would damage the ability of witnesses to give evidence, and that the investigation could lead to conflicting versions, was without foundation.

"We have indicated to the portfolio committee that we will present our findings before the Farlam Inquiry [appointed by Zuma] and it is for the inquiry to decide on the quality of the evidence before it," it said.

The SAHRC would focus on possible human rights violations and submit its findings to the inquiry.

"It is within the mandate of any commission of inquiry to decide what is interfering and what is not."

The SAHRC's investigation was launched at the request of a non-governmental organisation, which complained that the victims' right to life had been infringed upon.

It was obliged to address the complaint and the prima facie rights violation to which it referred.

"We feel the objections are based on a misunderstanding of what the SAHRC is in fact doing in relation to the Marikana situation and a misunderstanding of its powers and mandate as provided for by the act of Parliament," it said.

It was not conducting an independent investigation and would not make a final, independent finding on whether rights were violated.

Instead, it was bringing proceedings in its own name, on behalf of individuals whose rights were violated.

This fell squarely within its powers, duties and functions.

A month ago, 34 people were shot dead by police at Lonmin's Marikana mine. Another 78 people were injured.

The violence was apparently sparked by rivalry between two unions.

  • themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-13 23:29

    The SAHRC is `independent`? Since when? The Chairman (Mushwana) is the former Speaker of the National Council of Provinces which merely rubberstamped decisions of the ANC dominated National Assembly! Not only that, he was later `promoted` to be the Public Protector where he carried on whitewashing probes involving high ranking ANC leaders. He is now in charge of a toothless SAHRC which is so useless it has to scavenge for work! While the SAHRC can play a vital role in promoting awareness and protection human rights, the fact that it is led by ANC cadres renders it a complete ANC lapdog and another unnecessary drain for the taxpayers' hard earn end money which the ANC uses to provide lavish lifestyles for its so-called cadres

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-09-14 07:09

      Mean while back at the ranch they jump from branch to branch or is it hill

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-13 23:42

    The ANC is trying everything they can to prevent the truth from filtering through to their electorate.

      stephen.grant.186 - 2012-09-14 08:22

      Agreed, Thanks Kevin, this is just a another scandal that be covered up. Time for South Africans to vote the ANC out.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-09-14 05:32

    too many cooks spoil the broth ,the hotels in the area is making a killing with all these fat idiots ordering the best of the best in the so called search for the lies that will be dished out to them by the guilty involved

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-09-14 06:53

      I think George Bizo`s commission is more likely to search for and expose the facts. But the SAHRC is led by that dodgy ANC cadre who has proven himself as his master`s paid piper during his tenure as the Public [read `anc`] Protector. What happens if the 2 invesigation produce contradictory findings. The SAHRC's findings are more likely to be a watered down version should the govt be implicated thru their alliance partner Cosatu of which NUM is the biggest component

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-14 07:14

    The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)is another satanic organisation that is based on bias for the wrong doers and the really true innocent are the victims!

  • Badger - 2012-09-14 08:15

    "....investigate the Marikana tragedy..." There is nothing to investigate, they were warned, they never listened, they murdered police, guards and other miners. They started shooting at police and they were shot. Finish & Klaar !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mzondistanley - 2012-09-14 10:54

    SAHRC !! You may be entitled or covered by the Constitution but the Timing seem not to be on your side!! Leave the Judicial Inquery to finish their duty and you could also carry out another complimentary investigation in case you are asked to do so Later !! But now its like you on the side of COPE , MALEMA and OPOSITION parties!! You should excercise your Authority with a cool Head!! Not Thinking with your Heart!! Mind we not running an Uncles Farm!! We are in Government !!Most NGO's are Their Master's voices, to be seen to working very hard in order for them to given more Honey!! One witness can not be interrogated by two investigating bodies at the same time!!!

  • Neal Sing - 2012-09-23 20:31

    A bit late now. We know that Cops shot from all directions not just from the front Killing was indiscriminate

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