20 Sep 2013

Inquiry accuses police of hiding truth

11:11 am on 20 September 2013

A commission of inquiry into the police killing of 34 workers at a platinum mine in South Africa has accused the police of lying about the incident.

Police say they were acting in self-defence when shooting the miners at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine in Marikana in August last year.

The commission's statement comes 10 days after it gained access to police computer hard drives and previously unseen police documents, the BBC reports.

The statement says the hard drives indicate the police were not telling the truth about events at Marikana. It says they hid some documents and falsified others.

A BBC correspondent says the commission is clearly so outraged by what has been uncovered that it has taken the extraordinary step of calling the police liars, and is implicitly questioning whether the inquiry can continue.

There have been demonstrations over the payment of legal fees for injured and arrested miners.