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Marikana inquiry wraps up hearings, final arguments

After sitting for 300 days, a report will be handed to the presidency at the end of March.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry officially wrapped up on 14 November 2014 after 300 days of testimony. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The police have called for collective responsibility for the deaths in Marikana in 2012 while the miners maintain they are the victims of a massacre.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry has now officially wrapped up its hearings and final arguments.

It has heard evidence from more than 50 witnesses over the space of two years who testified about the violence and deaths at the North West platinum mine.

The inquiry probed the deaths of 34 miners 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 other people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) maintains the officers acted in self-defence and they were threatened by armed and dangerous protesters.

The miners have however argued that what happened on 16 August 2012 can only be considered murder.

Evidence leader Geoff Budlender strongly criticised the police's conduct.

After sitting for 300 days, the commission has finally wrapped up and a report will be handed to the Presidency at the end of March.

MINERS WILLING TO TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY

The inquiry earlier heard that the Marikana miners are willing to take some responsibility for the deaths at the North West Platinum mine in 2012.

Advocate Dali Mpofu said Lonmin and the police are the ones avoiding responsibility altogether.

Advocate Ishmael Semenya, who is representing the South African Police Service has echoed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement, saying there should be collective responsibility for what happened in Marikana.

But Mpofu said the miners are the victims and what happened on 16 August 2012 should be seen as murder.

Mpofu however says they are willing to take the blame and be charged for some of the deaths that happened before the mass shooting unlike Lonmin and the SAPS which don't consider themselves guilty at all.

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