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SAHRC calls for law enforcers to treat Marikana massacre scene as a crime scene until investigations are completed.

22 August 2012

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

Following the tragic incident in Marikana Lonmin Mines, Rustenburg, the South African Human Rights Commission raised concerns over the deaths of miners and the police. We immediately dispatched our team on Sunday, 19 August, to the area where the shooting incident took place and found amongst others, that:

  • clothes and other traditional weapons were still scattered on the hill where miners gathered;
  • allegations were made by some of the community members we spoke to about police tampering with or not protecting evidence;
  • the scene of crime on Sunday, a few hours after the massacre, had still not been cordoned off;

We subsequently met with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate who assured us that they were also investigating the case. It is concerning for us as the Commission that the scene of the crime that shocked the country and the world and claimed 34 lives, has allegedly not been properly attended to.

We are equally concerned that the IDIP has not been quick enough to take steps to protect evidence that will become necessary in the investigation, as we would be naive to expect the police to investigate themselves properly.

We call on those responsible, especially the law enforcers, to ensure that the area of the crime scene is treated as such - a crime scene - until every bit of evidence has been exhausted, and those tasked with investigating, including the Inter-Ministerial Team, have physically visited the area where this crime was committed.

Furthermore, the SAHRC also proposes that local and provincial structures should be involved in the investigation as they are the people most directly affected by the incident.

The SAHRC will continue to monitor the situation until those tasked with investigating the situation make their pronouncements, and the grieving families have received answers."



Issued by:

Isaac Mangena

Head: Communications

071 884 8273


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