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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU shocked at ‘shot-in-the-back’ allegations

28 August 2012

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is shocked at the report in The Star that post-mortem results from the shooting on 16 August, when 34 miners were killed in Marikana, 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".

While we must await the full report of the Commission of Enquiry to establish the whole truth of what happened on that tragic day, this report, if true, will contradict the SAPS claim that they were defending themselves against attack.

It will confirm the federation’s worst fears about the pattern of excessive violence by the police in response to public demonstrations, which we have described as .a "skiet en donner" attitude on the part of the commanders of the police.

COSATU reiterates its condemnation of immediately resorting to firing live ammunition and the SAPS’s serious lack of training and planning on crowd control tactics.

The federation is also alarmed at reports of ill-treatment of the 260 workers arrested in Marikana. Defence lawyer, Advocate Lesego Mmusi, alleges that some of the mineworkers arrested in connection with the murder of 10 people at Marikana, North West, have not had their TB and HIV and Aids treatment since 16 August.

There are even allegations that some of the accused are being tortured. It is reported the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating allegations that detainees apprehended at Marikana, and held at Phokeng and Mogwase Police stations, were assaulted.

COSATU calls on government, through its minister, to ensure that the human rights of all those arrested are not trampled upon.

COSATU is determined to get the whole truth about what happened at Marikana and will demand the strongest action against anyone found to have acted illegally. Everything possible must be done to ensure that there will never be any more Marikanas.

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
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E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za