Marikana footage not for sensitive viewers

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marikana aug 31 REUTERS (File photo) Policemen at the scene of the shooting where 34 miners died Lonmin's Marikana mine. Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters

 

Rustenburg - Family members of slain Marikana miners were asked to leave the Rustenburg civic centre on Wednesday as videos of the August 16 shooting were screened.

During the inquiry into the event the evidence-leading team showed a series of videos and photographs taken when 34 miners were shot dead and 78 wounded near Lonmin's platinum mine in North West.

Chairman of the three-member commission, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked relatives who were not prepared to see the images to leave.

“To family members of those who died on August 16, at scene one (the place of the initial shooting), these images may cause them grief. Halt the screening of the videos to allow them (the families) to leave the auditorium,” he said.

Only a few women walked out.

Wednesday's proceedings began with the screening of aerial photos and videos captured hours before the shooting.

The footage was part of evidence captured by the police and Lonmin security between August 9 and 16.

The August 16 video shows a delegation of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members returning to the koppie where workers had been meeting around noon. They had made an initial appearance on August 15, in the evening.

In the video Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa begins negotiating with police officers, and asks to use a police megaphone to address the strikers.

He tells the crowd the union had experienced problems arranging a meeting with Lonmin on August 16, because the “bigger unions” were not there.

The shooting happened hours after Mathunjwa spoke to the protesters.

The evidence-leading team, screening the footage, said the shooting happened shortly after the police stopped using water cannons on the strikers. - Sapa


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