S.Africa: Police officers face charges over 2012 deaths

Police officers face charges over deaths of 34 miners in 2012, when police fired on striking workers

S.Africa: Police officers face charges over 2012 deaths

World Bulletin / News Desk

Several senior police officers in South Africa are facing criminal charges for their alleged role in the deaths of 34 mine workers in 2012 in the small town of Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg.

“Investigations found a major general who was responsible for overall command of the South African Police Service operation at Marikana, to have been remiss in his conduct when dealing with the incident,” the presidency said in a statement late Sunday.

Four years ago, police opened fire on hundreds of mineworkers who were striking to demand a minimum wage of 12,500 rand ($940) from their employer, British mining giant Lonmin Platinum.

Seventy other mineworkers were injured during the incident, which sparked outrage internationally.

The major general – who was not identified – is also accused of allegedly ignoring the advice of experienced Public Order Police officers on dealing with the crowd control situation, going against the police standing order on crowd control.

The presidency further said charges of attempted murder have been filed against some police officers who shot miners who were later hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Charges against the police officers are part of a recommendation made by the Farlam commission of inquiry appointed by President Jacob Zuma four years ago, to investigate the causes of the Marikana killings.

Police Commissioner Riyah Piyega was suspended following the incident, which sparked condemnation after a video showing police officers shooting miners went viral.

Meanwhile, a brigadier heading the northwest provincial detectives unit, together with another brigadier in charge of detectives at a detention center and a major, have also been charged with concealing a death of a protester in police custody.

Other officers charged include a colonel, warrant officer, and constable.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Aralık 2016, 15:48