Families of Marikana victims call for further investigations

The families say the killings at the North West Platinum mine in 2012 cannot be justified.

FILE: Miners gather on the koppie in Marikana ahead of the anniversary of the shooting in which 34 miners were killed. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - Families of the Marikana victims have called for further investigation into the police officers involved, saying the killings at the North West Platinum mine in 2012 cannot be justified.

Legal teams are submitting their final arguments at the Farlam Commission of the Inquiry, which is in its final phase after sitting for more than 293 days and hearing testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

The inquiry is investigating the deaths of 34 miner s who were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012 at Lonmin's Marikana mine.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force when the protesting miners were gunned down.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who is representing the families of the victims, says the killing of 34 miners in Marikana in 2012 should be considered unlawful.

He says the families are still waiting for answers and police cannot justify the killings.

Ntsebeza says the police used disproportionate force, knowing that being armed with R5 rifles would result in several fatalities.


Earlier, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should be investigated for the role he played in the Marikana shootings.

Amcu submitted its closing arguments at the inquiry.

Amcu's Heidi Barnes defended the union's actions in Marikana, saying it was not behind the unprotected strike which led to violence and several deaths.

Barnes however pointed fingers at Ramaphosa who was a non-executive director of Lonmin at the time and sent out an email 24 hours before the shooting calling for "concomitant action" against miners by the police.

"The deputy president was asking for more action at a time when the situation had been brought under control. We say he should be investigated."

Barnes said Lonmin colluded with the police in order to break the strike in August 2012.

Lonmin yesterday told the inquiry that Ramaphosa acted as a "responsible businessman" in the days leading up to the fatal Marikana shooting.

Lonmin's lawyer Schalk Burger told the commission that the platinum group can't accuse Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing.

Ramaphosa has been accused of using his political power to influence the police to end the violent strike.

But Lonmin defended the deputy president, saying he only wanted to stabilise the situation and end the killings.