Police accused of brutality in Marikana

Miners, arrested during a shootout at Lonmin's Marikana mine, arrive under heavy police guard to appear in court in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria, Monday, 20 August 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAP
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MARIKANA - While investigations continue into alleged police brutality against arrested Marikana miners from Lonmin, one man has told Eyewitness News of how he was allegedly assaulted by officers who wanted him to identify protest leaders.

The miner, who did not want to be named, claimed he was assaulted in a room at the Western Platinum mine last Monday, while 259 of his colleagues appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court.

His allegations come in the midst of claims by over 190 miners in police custody, who claimed they were assaulted.

The miners were arrested during clashes between police and striking Lonmin workers in Wonderkop in the North West province last week Thursday. 

They face a wide range of charges, which include murder and public violence.

A total of 34 people were shot dead and at least 78 others injured during the violence that is being probed by a judicial commission of inquiry appointed by President Jacob Zuma.

Miners have demanded that Lonmin management increase their monthly salaries to R12,500 to ensure they return to work.

The mineworker told Eyewitness News he spent three days in a small room where officers interrogated him about the whereabouts of protest leaders.

He described how scared he was when he was allegedly handcuffed to a chair and beaten with a rubber pipe.

He said police threatened to continue beating him if he did not give them the information they wanted.

The miner said he was put in a cell at the Phokeng Police Station three days after the attack, but released on bail later the same day.

He said he had since gone into hiding with his family, fearing for their lives.

The Police Ministry on Sunday said it was investigating all cases of assault, regardless of when and where they occurred.

(Edited by Thato Motaung)