HomeAfricaAutopsies Show Marikana Miners Were Shot in the Back

Autopsies Show Marikana Miners Were Shot in the Back


South African miners
White police stomps the body of a dead miner

Police would not comment on Monday morning regarding reported allegations that workers killed during the Marikana massacre were fleeing from police.

“We can not comment until the outcome of the commission of inquiry. We have to respect the process,” said Captain Dennis Adriao.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini was not immediately available for comment.

Monday post-mortem results from the shooting on August 16 where 34 miners were killed indicated that workers were fleeing from police, with many miners shot in the back.

An unnamed source close to the investigation reportedly told a South African newspaper that, “the post-mortem reports indicate that most of the people were fleeing from the police when they got killed”.

“A lot of them were shot in the back and the bullets exited through their chests,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed source saying.

This was in contrast to statements made by national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega a day after the shooting.

Phiyega said she stood by police and had issued an order to use live ammunition because she had been told police had come under attack from miners.

On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced that retired White Supreme Court Judge Ian Farlam would chair the commission. He will be joined by senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

The commission will have the power to enter and search premises, secure the attendance of witnesses, and compel the production of documents.

Where appropriate, it will refer any matter for prosecution, further investigation, or the convening of a separate inquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or regulator.

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