Watchdog probes police abuse in Marikana

2012-08-27 14:02

Johannesburg - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Monday was probing complaints that officers had beaten and injured platinum workers arrested after police killed 34 protesters at an illegal strike.

"We are investigating allegations of assault," said IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini.

Autopsy reports on most of dead meanwhile showed they had been shot from behind, The Star newspaper reported on Monday.

"The post-mortem reports indicate that most of the people were fleeing from the police when they got killed," an unnamed source involved in the investigation told The Star.

"A lot of them were shot in the back and the bullets exited through their chests," said the source, adding only a few were found to have been shot from the front.

Police have said they were acting in self-defence when they opened fire with live ammunition on striking workers at the platinum giant Lonmin's Marikana mine on August 16.

Police arrested more than 250 people after the shooting, which followed clashes blamed on inter-union tensions that had already killed 10 people, including two police officers who were hacked to death.

The probe into detainee abuse could take more than a week to complete and was separate from the watchdog's investigation into the shooting, said Dlamini.

Investigators had logged 130 complaints by Friday evening from the detained workers and "some have sustained injuries", he said.

"The injuries have been confirmed," Dlamini told AFP, saying these were bruises.

"We don't know how many people have been assaulted so the investigators are going from station to station where the victims are held to take their statements and we need to identify also who the perpetrators are," he said.

  • michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-08-27 14:20

    Obviously they will start running when they are being shot at! Who will blindly run towards someone that is shooting you??? Please leave this alone... The police did what they had too! Were they suppose to hug them???

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:38

      Those acted unlawfully will be brought 2 book. Every1 has a right 2 live

  • SharonE - 2012-08-27 14:21

    The miners were shot in the back? Now remind me, where have I heard that before? Maybe now the ANC won't make such a big thing about commemorating a similar event from the past, seeing as it happened again, only under their watch!

      kirsten.a.foster.100 - 2012-08-27 15:44

      well she's right?

  • brendan.maguire.1217 - 2012-08-27 14:28

    These miners that call themselves human beings and want the basic human rights. These are the same guys that barbarically hacked two policemen to death as well as two security guards. They also burnt them and cut off certain of their body parts. Now they are complaining that they got slapped around a bit. If I was a cop and they had did this to my mates. They would have got more than just a slap. (Animals!!)

  • customdesign - 2012-08-27 14:36

    In the video you can see the police retreating as the mob is coming towards them. There were marksmen on the flanks though, so it could be that this accounts for bullets coming from behind. I wonder if any of the miners with guns shot their own people in the chaos?

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-27 14:47

    Obviously after the first few shots were fired the crowd would have turned, and just as obvious therefore there will definitely be more wounds entering the back than from the front because a cease fire is not like a computer game, it takes a few seconds to evaluate and realise what is happening. This is pure sensationalism. If this really was just an 'open season' indiscriminate shooting by the police, then many, many more people would have died. Sadly, once again it seems sanity will not prevail as is so often the case in SA these days, and the unions and politicians will be looking to blame anyone but themselves. Who do you think that will be?

  • samantha.5243 - 2012-08-27 14:51

    I do not understand how they can blame the police for defending themselves- these guys camed heavily armed to this protest- it was a not a peaceful protest, they came there looking for a fight and thats what they got and now its the police's fault?????- what were the police supposed to do?- stand there and wait to have a limb hacked off first before taking action?????

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:29

      But not live bullets. Police were never organised

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-27 15:32

      buti - did the miners have rubber pangas and plastic knives?

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:35

      Police never used the necessary equipments. They acted with blank heads

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-27 15:36

      buti - clearly you have the blank head.

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:41

      But the fact is justice will take its course

  • dieketseng.mohlabane - 2012-08-27 15:12

    I dont understand what is happening in this world. Should the cops just have stood there and be killed instead? Those guys were clearly coming for them. If this was the other way round what would the likes of Julius Malema be saying?

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:32

      But 34 is too much.they were firing as if it was a cash heist. They always do opposite.TRT is not trained 2 handle thosee matters

      buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 15:32

      But 34 is too much.they were firing as if it was a cash heist. They always do opposite.TRT is not trained 2 handle thosee matters.let the justice take its course,SAPS must apply 4 rule of law

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-27 15:35

      It really is a world gone mad. People, and apparently even intelligent people, will point to a wall clearly painted with blue paint, but tell us it's purple with pink spots. I mean, what do you do? What can you say?

      customdesign - 2012-08-27 15:49

      just say the wall is green with red stripes

  • buti.Bambo - 2012-08-27 16:06

    Justice is taking its course. Pre-lim indicates the unlawfullness of the police. Much still 2 be revealed

  • harold.parsons.37 - 2012-08-29 09:37

    Another attempt by the liberal groupings in the ANC to turn the criminal strikers into victims. These murderers brutally killed security gaurds and policeman and now refuse to give the names of these crimi the police investigators. keep these criminals in jail until they tell the police who did the killing.

  • caspertg - 2012-08-29 10:02

    Were the police justified in shooting back at an angry storming mob? Hell yes? The police don't buy riot gear. The police don't buy rubber bullets. The police don't train themselves. The police don't set riot policy. The police men and women use the tools provided to them by their leaders. Uneducated police will always react this way, and who can blame them for protecting their lives. Bring the incompetent leaders to book and give police the tools to handle situations like this without loss of life.

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