Farlam commission hears of events leading to Marikana shooting

Retired judge Ian Farlam heard from a policeman that he found two dead men and 14 spent cartridges at an open site near the Karee mine shaft in Marikana. (AFP)

Retired judge Ian Farlam heard from a policeman that he found two dead men and 14 spent cartridges at an open site near the Karee mine shaft in Marikana. (AFP)

Crime scene expert Captain Moses Moshwana, based at the Rustenburg criminal records centre, took the commission to three sites which had been marked with orange plastic cones. 

"On August 13, I found here a dead body, of a civilian, lying next to this shack. The body was lying next to a hand-made spear and a knobkerrie," said Moshwana on Tuesday.

He led the inspection team towards a small river, and said he had seen the used bullets and a dead body across the river. The area was marked with plastic cones.

"From the shack, I came towards the river where I saw the used bullet cartridges.
Between these two cones I found 14 used bullets. One was of an R5 rifle and 13 belong to 9mm [pistol]," said Mushwana.

"Across the river there was another body, he was already dead. There was also a spear and a knobkerrie on his side," he said.

The inspectors, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, also visited the area where a policeman was hacked to death during violent protests at the Lonmin mine in North West.

Colonel Neels Botha pointed out the scene where the police met striking workers. He said the workers had earlier gathered on top of a bridge near the Karee hostel, and then walked up to the railway line, where they met the police.

Their leader spoke to General William Mbembe and after the discussion the workers walked through an open field about a kilometre away. There, they attacked two policemen, hacking one to death. "The other policeman was injured and later died in hospital," he said.

Botha said a spear and a knobkerrie were found in the area. He had marked the area with orange cones so the judge could see where the body lay and where the spear, knobkerrie and stun grenades were found.

"I reconstructed the scene and put cones for reference, as I am explaining the incident."

The commission also visited the Nkaneng informal settlement, near the hill were 34 Lonmin miners were killed on August 16. In the week before the shooting, 10 people were killed, including the two policemen and two security guards. – Sapa

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