NEWS

Mining massacre report given to Zuma

A policeman fires at striking miners at the Marikana platinum mine in South Africa on 16 August

The Marikana massacre is the most deadly police action since the end of white minority rule in 1994

The findings of an inquiry into the killings of 34 miners in South Africa have been given to President Jacob Zuma.

Police shot dead the workers during a protest over wages at the Marikana mine in August 2012, claiming they were acting in self-defence.

The Farlam Commission was set up by Mr Zuma to examine exactly what happened.

Opposition parties and human rights groups want the findings to be made public.

A government statement said Mr Zuma would “prioritise consideration” of the report following his state visit to Algeria.

But Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, said Mr Zuma must make its release “a priority”.

“The surviving victims of the tragic events of Marikana and the families of all those who died have a right to receive justice,” he said.

No-one has been charged or held responsible for the killings.

Lawyers for the dead miners’ families have made accusations of a cover-up, describing the killings as revenge by the police for earlier deaths at the mine.

In the days before the shooting, 10 other people died at the site, including non-striking miners, security guards and two police officers who were hacked to death.

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Analysis: Nomsa Maseko, in Johannesburg

South Africa and the world watched in horror when images of police opening fire on thousands of mine workers made headlines in August 2012.

The shooting was described as a watershed moment that would change the country’s political landscape. It was the worst violence witnessed in South Africa since the dawn of democracy.

It is expected the commission, which sat for close to two years will bring some reforms. It was also hoped that President Jacob Zuma would make the findings public today, but hasn’t done so.

Opposition political parties and human rights groups say if the report is not made public, it will undermine work carried out by the commission.

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The inquiry looked at the roles played by the police, the management of the platinum mine, Lonmin, the unions and government.

It heard over 300 hours of evidence, including testimony from South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He was not a member of government at the time of the violence, but he was a non-executive director at Lonmin.

Mr Ramaphosa was accused of putting pressure on police to take action against strikers, but maintained he was trying to prevent further violence.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-32137240#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

jaapschaap

March 31st, 2015

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