Marikana forensic expert sheds light on massacre scene
- Doubts raised over police footage of Marikana shooting
- Marikana lawyers threaten to halt Farlam commission
On Wednesday, forensic expert Captain Jeremiah Mohlaki continued to give evidence amid the sight of visibly gaunt and scarred miners, some of whom were arrested last week Tuesday soon after leaving the commission.
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.
Captain 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 around his discoveries at the two crime scenes, including the deceased miners' bodies and three pistols, one of which was fully loaded, while the other two contained two and six rounds each.
With ballistic reports still outstanding, Mohlaki could not say whether the pistols were fired or not fired, and then reloaded.
Mohlaki also explained he found several cartridge cases, cartridges and traditional weapons among some of the deceased miners. He also suggested that miners shot a police Nyala – which he only inspected at the joint operations centre after the massacre.
It was when he was cross-examined by advocate George Bizos of the Legal Resources Centre that Mohlaki, who exhibited considerably more honesty than Lieutenant Colonel Johan Botha, started encountering turbulence.
Mohlaki was forced to concede that a colleague he accompanied to the two crime scenes on August 16 did in fact have a video camera with him, although he began filming after the shooting occurred at both scenes. Mohlaki would not be drawn on answering exactly when he left the joint operations centre and what exactly they were briefed on 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 under way.