North West - There has been a disturbing absence of evidence on the Marikana shootings, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard in Rustenburg on Monday.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the families of the 34 slain striking miners, said he had been unable to obtain footage from the police on the shootings.

He told public order policing expert Brigadier Zephania Mkhwanazi that the footage was either being suppressed or had been destroyed.

“It may well be that the evidence existed, but was destroyed or deleted. I'm not saying by you.”

Mkhwanazi said he understood the questioning and would be forthcoming with information.

“What I know I will definitely disclose.”

The inquiry, into the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August, resumed at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on Monday. It is chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam. The other commissioners are senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.

Thirty-four striking miners were shot dead on August 16, 2012 and 78 wounded when the police opened fire on them while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near Lonmin's platinum mine.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were hacked to death near the mine.

President Jacob Zuma announced the commission in August. - Sapa