Seoka criticised at Marikana Inquiry

Lonmin lawyers said Bishop Jo Seoka role as a peacemaker lacked impartiality.

The South African Council of Churches Bishop Jo Seoka. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

RUSTENBURG - Bishop Jo Seoka's role as a peacemaker has been criticised by Lonmin lawyers during the Marikana Commission on Inquiry in Rustenburg.

Advocate Schalk Burger said Seoka was not impartial and did not understand the situation on the ground.

He said the bishop did not take into account the deaths of ten others before the deadly August 16 shooting which claimed the lives of 34 striking employees.

He added Seoka knew that the strike was unprotected.

But the bishop denied the claim, saying he was not aware the strike was illegal.

He said if he was given a chance on the day of the shooting, nobody would have died at the koppie.

President Jacob Zuma set up the inquiry to determine whether police were justified in using live ammunition on demonstrators.

The commission is being headed by retired Judge Ian Farlam.