Home News Final arguments begin in S.Africa Marikana killing probe

Final arguments begin in S.Africa Marikana killing probe

Published on 05/11/2014

A two-year probe into the killing of 34 striking miners in South Africa is drawing to a close, with lawyers on Wednesday recalling the horror of the shooting in final arguments.

The 34 strikers were gunned down by police at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana north of Johannesburg during a work stoppage in August 2012.

“Looking day-in and day-out at pictures of bodies shot to pieces by assault rifles dulls our outrage at what is, and should be, unacceptable in a constitutional democracy,” said one of the commission’s lawyers, Matthew Chaskalson.

“Remember every victim who died at Marikana.

as an individual human being with a family and a life.

“Another commission lawyer Geoff Budlender urged the panel to look beyond criminal liability and punish the leadership failure on all sides.

In the days leading up to the shooting, 10 others were killed by some of the strikers, including two police officers who were hacked to death.

“Whatever reason (the) shooters fired, presume it was lawful, that doesn’t end the inquiry, because if the operation was the result of reckless planning or poor planning, the SA Police Service (SAPS) would be responsible, even if the shooters lawfully fired,” said Budlender.

“The leaders of the strike, even if not legally responsible for the murders.

did not prevent what the strikers did.

“The commission began in October 2012, sitting through 293 days of evidence from 56 witnesses, including police officers, trade unionists, Lonmin officials and injured and arrested miners.

Closing arguments will run until November 14.

The final report on the shooting is due at the end of March 2015.