Lawyer: SAfrica mine owners planned violence
JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- A lawyer for miners charges that police and mine owners plotted to kill striking mineworkers.
Lawyer Dali Mpofu told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry-- which is investigating the killing of 34 strikers by police at Lonmin's platinum mine on August 16 -- that the police violence "was premeditated murder of defenseless people."
Among other evidence, Mpofu presented an email sent on Aug. 15 by South African businessman Cyril Ramaphosa to Lonmin company executives in which he wrote of "dastardly criminal acts" by striking miners and called for "concomitant action." Ramaphosa is an influential member of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress.
Police told the commission that they were acting in self-defense, in what is acknowledged as the worst case of state-led violence since the end of apartheid.
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