SAHRC begins Marikana investigation against the Police
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07 September 2012
The South African Human Rights Commission is undertaking an investigation into the Marikana bloodbath following a complaint the Commission has received. The complainant a Cape Town-based Non-Governmental Organization, has argued that the national police commissioner Ms Mangwashi Riah Phiyega and the police violated the right to life of the miners, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
The Commission has requested expert assistance from the Legal Resources Centre, which has selected Adv. Bizos to head its team of attorneys and counsel.
The SAHRC has requested the LRC to gather evidence from victims, suspected perpetrators, forensic pathologists and experts. This will aid the SAHRC in making an informed assessment, including identifying potential litigation if necessary.
The Commission has identified three broad areas for consideration in our investigation:
- The culpability of the SAPS in their conduct with regards to the incidents which took place at Marikana, and the conduct of the police in the area around this time;
- The corporate malpractice of Lonmin Plc, including allegations such as the degradation of the quality of the water in the area, the recruitment practices, the living conditions of the workers and the compliance with legislative obligations particularly in relation to mineral and environmental legislation; and
The SAHRC expects that the LRC team, led by Adv. Bizos, will inform the Commission’s presentation to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, chaired by retired Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Ian Farlam.
- The failure by Local Government to attend to the service needs and the local planning in relation to the municipal districts and the community in and around Marikana.
In responding to this complaint the SAHRC aims to help contribute to justice for the Lonmin miners, their families and all those who continue to experience such violations of their Constitutional rights.
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