No money to reconstruct scene at “Killing” Koppie

IPID says that it has asked for money from the National Treasury, SAPS and Ministry of Police to reconstruct scene 2 but to no avail. Photo by Benchmarks Foundation

The authorities charged with investigating the perpetrators of the Marikana massacre are unable to the job for lack of funding – and evidently for a lack of political will.

The Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) says that it has requested funding to reconstruct scene 2 of the Marikana killings of 2012 and has asked for funding from the National Treasury, the Ministry of Police and the South African Police Services without success. The Farlam Commission of inquiry on Marikana recommended that IPID be appropriately funded to enable it to conduct and conclude the Marikana investigation, including the reconstruction of scene 2. Scene 2 at the so-called Koppie 3 was where 17 of the striking miners were killed on August 16 in 2012, which was not covered by the media and there is no footage of workers being shot at by the police as was the case at scene 1.

The Socio-Economic Rights Institute, which is representing some of the families of those who were killed on the 13th and 16th of August, argues that IPID should be funded to do a reconstruction of scene 2. “SERI maintains that IPID must be given the budget to reconstruct the scene so that those responsible will be held accountable for their conduct,” reads the press statement.

IPID’s spokesperson, Moses Dlamini, told Elitsha that they have tried to comply with the Commission’s recommendations even though they did not receive funding and that they have used their baseline budget for investigation, something that Dlamini claims has “put a tremendous strain on the IPID operational budget”.

Amongst other things, the Farlam Commission recommended that IPID with the assistance of the National Prosecuting Authority conduct investigations into police involvement in the deaths of the miners at scene 2.

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A recent report by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) based on photographs, statements from police and surviving miners, and ballistic and forensic evidence, contradicts the police’s version of events. The police had told the commission that they were under fire from the miners but their evidence was rejected. The ISS report, written by David Bruce, argues that the bullets police thought were fired by the miners were actually shot by their colleagues approaching from scene 1, which most people are familiar with from the TV-camera footage.

The report further goes on to say that there was “no immediate threat” and that the police were supposed to “take cover and identify the source of the shooting. Instead they fired lethal R5 assault rifle rounds into the area where a large number of men has gathered.”

According to the report, the police took 11 minutes to shoot and kill 17 miners, including a group that was taking cover among the rocks and bushes.

The National Prosecuting Authority had not responded to emails by the time of publishing.

 

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