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article imageMarikana: South African police 'lied over mine shootings'

By Layne Weiss     Sep 19, 2013 in World
A commission of inquiry has accused South African police of lying about the events of August 16, 2012, when 34 miners were shot and killed in the Marikana miners' strike.
The inquiry said police falsified or withheld documents and gave false accounts of events, BBC News reports.
The commission was appointed by South African President Jacob Zuma to investigate the deaths of the 34 miners. This is the most deadly action by police since the end of apartheid in 1994.
The commission's statement comes 10 days after gaining access to police hard drives and previously concealed police documents.
"We have obtained documents which in our opinion demonstrate that the [police] version of at in material respects not the truth," the commission said.
The Marikana miners' strike took place in August 2012, and saw police shoot thousands of machete bearing mine workers, the commission said Thursday, CNN reports.
Police said they were acting in self defense due to two officers being hacked by protestors just days before, BBC News reports.
Whether or not this is true, the commission also says that the police not only concealed documents. They faked certain documents as well, Africa Business reports.
The commission said the police do have a right to respond to these findings, CNN reports. The commission also says, however, that "absent a convincing explanation, the material which we have found has serious consequences for the further conduct of the work of this commission."
The inquiry is adjourned until Wednesday while the commission reviews thousands of pages of documents , BBC News reports.
Immediately following the strike, police sought to portray the miners responsible for the killings since they had been striking illegally. About 270 miners were arrested and charged with murder, but the charges were later dropped.
Not a single police officer has been arrested in connection with the incident.
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