15 March 2017

South Africa: Marikana Massacre - Police Absolve 87 of Their Own

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Police on standby at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West (file photo).
analysis

Police investigated, and cleared, 87 of their own members in relation to the August 2012 police killings of 34 Marikana miners. "They were cleared internally," SAPS deputy national commissioner for human resource management, Lieutenant-General Bonang Mgwenya, told Parliament's police committee on Wednesday. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

Like the police, its statutory watchdog, the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid), was there to update MPs on the implementation of Marikana Commission of Inquiry recommendations. Ipid boss Robert McBride appeared gobsmacked. "It's strange they were all cleared, as so many people died. In future, please involve Ipid. Otherwise it's the police investigating itself," he told MPs.

There were no details proffered to MPs, who also did not ask, as to what the internal SAPS investigations had entailed, what charges were investigated or even when this internal process took place. What did emerge was that the SAPS had not pursued internal investigations against senior police officers regarding the Marikana miners' killings. For this, Mgwenya said, the police were awaiting Ipid's report.

The police watchdog is investigating 184 police officials over the Marikana killings, and has taken all but 64 warning statements. The due date for dockets to be finalised and submitted to the National Prosecuting...

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