Police viciously attacked at Lonmin mine - SAPS

Officers forced to engage with force to protect their own lives, acted in self defence

Unrest at Lonmin Mine

Following extensive and unsuccessful negotiations by SAPS members to disarm and disperse a heavily armed group of illegal gatherers at a hilltop close to LonminMine, near Rustenburg in the North West Province, the South African Police Service was viciously attacked by the group, using a variety of weapons, including firearms. The Police, in order to protect their own lives and in self-defence, were forced to engage the group with force.

This resulted in several individuals being fatally wounded, and others injured. The crime scene, which covers a vast area, is currently being managed by senior officials from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and supported by an expert team of detectives and forensic experts.

The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Riah Phiyega, and members of her top management are currently at the scene, appraisingthemselves of the situation, which is still unfolding.

Accordingly, in order to allow the investigators to manage the crime scene, and to stabilise the situation, the National Commissioner will be holding a media briefing at 11:30am tomorrow morning (Friday 17 August 2012) at Lonmin Training Centre (on the R27 just off the Mooinooi / Marikana off-ramp on the N4).

Statement issued by Captain Dennis Adriao, SAPS National Spokesperson, August 17 2012

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