Police on parade for Marikana violence claims

Police members who stand accused of abusing arrested Marikana strikers may be pointed out by their accusers this week. (Gallo)

Police members who stand accused of abusing arrested Marikana strikers may be pointed out by their accusers this week. (Gallo)

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has confirmed that it planned to hold identity parades on Tuesday as part of its investigation into charges that Marikana strikers were subjected to violence while in detention, and that the process is ongoing.

"We can't comment on the ID parades until they are concluded, because there may be developments in the investigation and we don't want to pre-empt that," said IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini. But he confirmed that the parades are in relation to the claims of assault by police, and that there was a delay in the process on Tuesday.

At least some of the now-released strikers were asked to take part in identifying their alleged police assailants, but were due to a combination of poor communication and transport trouble could not attend the planned parade. Media interest, and fears that cases may have been jeopardised if the police involved were publicly identified, may also have played a part in the postponement.

The IPID appears intent on concluding the parades this week, but would not speak on its expected timeline.

The parades are the first indication that police members are under investigation for their actions following the August 16 killings at Marikana.
Dlamini would not comment on investigations into the events of that week, saying only that the IPID intends to report its findings to the judicial inquiry appointed to consider culpability of all groups involved, including the police. On Sunday the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could provide no information into the status of charges, including murder, laid by individuals who had been part of the striking group.

Miners involved in the claims of brutal treatment at the hands of police after they were arrested have declined to speak on the record, with some saying they fear re-arrest.

March planned Wednesday
A group of employees at Lonmin's Marikana mine plan to hold their first organised protest march since the shootings on Wednesday morning. It follows a small gathering on Monday morning, in which strikers told colleagues who reported for work to down their tools.

"A group of them arrived and told us to not betray the dead miners, and stop working. They called us 'amagundwane' and started singing," said a worker who wanted to remain anonymous. Amagundwane is the isiZulu word for rats, and the name given to employees who go to work while their colleagues are on strike.

The group of at least 200, which was initially escorted to a shaft by police, dispersed before noon.

By Tuesday night it was not clear how much support the march on Wednesday is likely to draw, but a police member in the area said preparations for crowd control would be adequate. Police have maintained a strong presence around the mine for the last two weeks. – with additional reporting from Sapa

Phillip de Wet

Phillip de Wet

Phillip de Wet writes about politics, society, economics, and the areas where these collide. He has never been anything other than a journalist, though he has been involved in starting new newspapers, magazines and websites, a suspiciously large percentage of which are no longer in business. PGP fingerprint: CF74 7B0F F037 ACB9 779C 902B 793C 8781 4548 D165 Read more from Phillip de Wet

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