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Marikana video casts doubt on police version

Sapa

Police claims about shooting at miners as a last resort appear to be thrown into question by a video shown to the Marikana inquiry.

A video shown to the Farlam commission of inquiry appears to disprove the police's version of events that led to the fatal shootings in 2012. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

A video shown at the Marikana commission of inquiry appears to disprove the police version of events leading up to the fatal shootings, The Times reported on Friday.

The police claimed the miners attacked them and that they had used non-lethal force before resorting to live ammunition at “scene one”, a cattle kraal near the Nkaneng informal settlement.

The video was commissioned by the South African Human Rights Commission.

Production house TiNT Post showed all events in strict chronological order, as determined by time stamps on source material, including media and police footage.

It showed the barbed wire rolled out by the police at “scene one” was laid well after miners in the lead group had moved from the hill towards Nkaneng and that the miners would have had ample time to attack the police as they moved.

Instead, the lead group attempted to move towards a road to Nkaneng that other protesters were using, according to photographs taken about 10 minutes before the shooting.

They were blocked by a nyala, which created a channel leading them towards the Tactical Response Team, who shot at them moments later.

The inquiry, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during a violent wage strike at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, two years ago.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with the police. More than 70 were wounded and 250 arrested on August 16 2012. Police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed. – Sapa

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