Marikana Massacre: President must confirm nature of Commission of Inquiry
Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA Spokesperson on Police
19 August 2012
While the DA welcomes President Zuma’s announcement that he will institute a Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre, we reiterate our call that this must be a full Judicial Commission of Inquiry. Reports in the media have suggested that it will be, but we cannot depend on media speculation. The President must show decisive leadership in this matter and confirm the nature of the inquiry as a matter of urgency.
The nation deserves official answers as to why this massacre happened, despite the fact that a police directive had been issued last year prohibiting the use of live rounds during public unrest policing. The Judicial Commission of Inquiry could and should not only look into the actions of the police but also those of the labour organisations involved. The inquiry should focus on the following issues:
- Who authorised the use of live ammunition at the mine?
- Who was in command of the various police units at the mine?
- Who issued the order to fire?
- Who was responsible for planning the operation?
- On what intelligence was the planning conducted?
- How many police, who participated in the operation, were actually trained in (a) public order policing and (b) the use of the weapons with which they were issued?
- Whether there has been incitement to violence by any of the labour organisations involved.
The victims of Marikana and their families, as well as the nation, deserve answers as to what happened. A full Judicial Commission of Enquiry will allow for witnesses and evidence to be subpoenaed, and for its findings to be used in prosecution. The President cannot delay a moment longer in ensuring that those answers are provided by announcing a full Judicial Commission of Inquiry.