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JOHANNESBURG — An inquiry has found shocking evidence that South African police have lied and falsified documents to cover up the truth about their killing of 34 protestors at the Marikana platinum mine last year.
The explosive revelation of a police cover-up in the “Marikana massacre” has forced a halt to the official inquiry. The commission announced on Thursday that it is shutting down its public hearings temporarily while it investigates the cover-up.
The inquiry has already heard disturbing evidence that the police hunted down and killed fleeing protestors even after a first clash had ended. It also heard testimony that the police planted guns next to the bodies of dead miners in an attempt to justify the shooting.
The cover-up began to unravel last week in testimony by Duncan Scott, a lieutenant-colonel in the South African Police Services (SAPS). He agreed to give the inquiry a computer hard drive with videos and photos from the scene of the Marikana killings. The inquiry also obtained thousands of pages of police documents that it had not seen before.
In an unusually hard-hitting statement on Thursday, the inquiry listed four ways in which the new evidence showed a police cover-up.
First, it said, the inquiry had obtained documents that the police had previously said were “not in existence.”
Second, there were documents “which in our opinion ought to have been previously disclosed by the SAPS, but were not so disclosed,” it said.
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