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Evidence May Have Been Planted in S. African Miners’ Deaths

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 6, 2012 Last Updated: November 7, 2012
Related articles: World » Africa
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Human rights advocate George Bizos (C), talks with members of the commission during the reopening of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry Oct. 22 into the police killing of 34 striking miners and related violence in August. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

Human rights advocate George Bizos (C), talks with members of the commission during the reopening of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry Oct. 22 into the police killing of 34 striking miners and related violence in August. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

South African police are facing scrutiny over possible planting of weapons—mainly large knives—near the bodies of workers who were killed during a strike in mid-August.

In the incident, police opened fire on the striking workers, killing 34 and injuring dozens more. South African authorities opened an inquiry into the shooting deaths of the miners in August as well as 12 others.

Those shot were workers employed at the Lonmin Marikana mine who had been on strike for six weeks. Police said they shot the workers out of self-defense.

Photographs taken by police on the night of the mass shooting show more weapons than those photographs taken earlier in the day immediately after the incident took place, evidence has shown, reported The Associated Press.

“The evidence clearly showed there is at least a strong prima facie case that there has been an attempt to defeat the ends of justice,” lawyer George Bizos was quoted by AP as saying.

Evidence suggesting that some of the killed workers might have been wearing handcuffs was also presented at the inquiry.

Police captain Apollo Mohlaki said that his photos showed more weapons than those taken earlier, reported the South African Press Association. “It is not appearing, I don’t see it,” he said, in reference to a butcher’s knife that appeared in a photo taken at night but not in a photograph taken during the day.

Ishmael Semenya, a police representative, noted that an investigation would take place “immediately” into the alleged police cover up, according to the news agency

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