Farlam inquiry continues despite increasing outrage
- Marikana forensic expert sheds light on massacre scene
- Doubts raised over police footage of Marikana shooting
- Marikana lawyers threaten to halt Farlam commission
Police testimony at the commission continues to be delivered amid an atmosphere of increasing volatility and outrage at the behind-the-scene peculiarities that continue to plague the commission.
On Wednesday, forensic expert Captain Jeremiah Mohlaki continued to give evidence amid the sight of gaunt and scared miners, some of whom were arrested last week Tuesday soon after leaving the Farlam commission of inquiry.
The released men, touted as potential witnesses by advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the arrested and injured miners, were released on Tuesday on bail. Among the released is strike leader Xolani Nzuza, who was arrested two weeks ago and had since been denied bail. The six were released a day after an extended meeting between the legal representatives of various parties on Monday morning.
Mohlaki, who followed a succession of police witnesses who did not shed much light on the killings, first appeared before the commission on Tuesday afternoon.
Mohlaki's evidence centred on his discoveries around the two crime scenes, including the deceased miners' bodies and three pistols, one of which was fully loaded and two with two rounds and six rounds respectively.
With ballistic reports still outstanding, Mohlaki could not say whether the pistols were not fired or fired and then reloaded.
Mohlaki also explained that he found several cartridge cases, cartridges and traditional weapons among some of the deceased miners. He said that miners shot at a police Nyala – a Nyala he only inspected at the joint operations centre after the massacre.
It was when cross examined by advocate George Bizos of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) that Mohlaki, who had exhibited more honesty than Lieutenant Colonel Johan Botha, started encountering turbulence.
Mohlaki was forced to concede that a colleague who visited the two crime scenes with him on August 16 did, in fact, have a video camera with him, although he began filming after the shooting had occurred in both scenes. Mohlaki would not be drawn on answering exactly when he left the joint operations centre and what exactly they were briefed about in a meeting held prior to the commencement of the massacre.
"Did anyone say that this business of meeting at the koppie was going to end?" asked Bizos.
"Not at all, chair," replied Mohlaki.
Mohlaki's cross examination is currently underway.