S.Africa miner killing inquest extended

25th April 2014, Comments 0 comments

A South African inquiry into the police's killing of 34 striking miners in 2012 has been extended until the middle of this year, the government said on Friday.

The inquest began in October 2012 and had been due to complete its work on April 30, just ahead of the South Africa's general election.

Chairman Ian Farlam had judged the commission's work would not be completed on time and called for an extension, which was granted by President Jacob Zuma on Friday.

The investigation is now due to conclude its work by July 31.

The commission has not been without controversy, with members of victims' families demanding that the government pay legal fees for about 270 injured or arrested miners.

Police have given contradictory evidence about what happened on August 16 2012 and the days preceding it, when 10 other people -- including two policemen -- were killed.

Police had said they reacted with live ammunition after coming under attack from the few thousand striking miners.

Lawyers of the victims have told the inquiry that at least 14 of the miners were shot in the back, suggesting they were gunned down while fleeing from police.

The commission had been due to conclude its work by January 2013.

© 2014 AFP

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