This article below was published by IOL:
July 9 2015 at 05:04pm
By Marianne Merten
Johannesburg – The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) and Marikana Support Campaign want to know from the SAPS if any of its members involved in the killing of 34 Marikana miners have been identified and whether steps are being taken against those who exceeded their powers.
The two organisations this week filed a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) and are expecting a response by early next month.
This followed last month’s release of the report of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the police killings at Marikana on August 16, 2012 and the 10 deaths amid a protracted mineworkers’ strike in the preceding week.
“We want to know what the SAPS has done to identify those involved,” said R2K spokesman Dale McKinley. “What can be done immediately is the suspension and hopefully the dismissal of the police officers who can be identified.”
He added it was important to discover whether the police were investigating or in the process of dealing with the report findings.
The Paia request also wants to discover whether any of the police officers present at Marikana that day continue to serve in the SAPS’s specialised units like the Tactical Response Team, National Intervention Unit, Special Task Force or dog units. The request also wants to discover whether any steps have been taken to “assess the impact” of the Marikana tragedy on the police officers involved.
When the Marikana report was released late last month, it recommended further investigations into who from the SAPS “in firing shots at the strikers may have exceeded the bounds of self-and-private defence, and the delay in conveying medical assistance”.
Already it has emerged that prosecuting authorities are preparing to charge 13 miners with at least seven deaths in the week before the Marikana police killings, in line with the recommendations, according to news reports on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the commission cleared Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and then-mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu and said it could not make a “positive” finding against then-police minister Nathi Mthethwa. But it was critical of national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega and North West police commissioner Lieutenant-General Zukiswa Mbombo for adopting what was a “defective” tactical option on that day, and recommended inquiries into their fitness to hold office.
Phiyega has until the end of this month to respond to President Jacob Zuma’s correspondence to this effect.
The R2K and Marikana Support Campaign’s Paia request followed criminal charges being laid by the EFF against Ramaphosa, who at the time was a Lonmin non-executive director, Mthethwa, Phiyega and Mbombo. The latter retired from the SAPS in May.
Steps to bring civil damages claims on behalf of the families are understood to be under way.
About 270 miners injured and/or arrested following the tragedy were also considering their next steps.
The Marikana Support Campaign said on Monday it would consult widely on a civil-society-led initiative to analyse the evidence before the commission.