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South Africa police accused over Marikana mine deaths

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A report into the police killing of 34 striking workers at a mine in South Africa - the worst violence in the country since the advent of democracy - is set to be released, reports Sky News.

Rights groups and lawyers representing those who were killed and injured at the Marikana mine in 2012 have been calling for President Jacob Zuma to release the report, which was handed to him by a commission in March.

In the days leading up to the 16 August attack, 10 others were murdered around the platinum mine, including non-striking miners, security guards and two police officers who were hacked to death.

The president's office said it would finally be published after Mr Zuma addresses the country on public television at 7pm local time (6pm UK time).

President Zuma appeared to defend the police's actions earlier this week, suggesting they were aimed at protecting people.

Speaking at a university on Tuesday, he said: "Those people in Marikana had killed people, and the police were stopping them from killing people."

He backtracked a day later, saying all of the deaths must be condemned.

Mr Zuma said: "All the deaths should be equally condemned by all without being selective as all lives are important and all families equally lost their loved ones in the tragic and painful incidents that occurred at Marikana."

The police faced heavy criticism during the inquiry.

They were accused of using excessive force against the miners and of covering up what happened.

Lawyers for the dead miners' families said the incident was an act of revenge by the police for their murdered colleagues.

The families of those who died have demanded that the officers, senior government officials and mining company Lonmin be held responsible for the massacre.



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