Family members collapse as they relive Marikana horror

2012-10-23 10:48

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been adjourned briefly after families of those who died in the August 16 shooting collapsed when they saw video footage of the incident that left 34 people dead.

Harrowing cries and wailing echoed through the auditorium in the Rustenburg Civic Centre, shortly after evidence leaders showed video footage of the shooting. There had been utter silence earlier, as people watched television footage of events as they unfolded.

But as images of police carrying R5 rifles closing in on the strikers appeared, people in the packed auditorium started gasping in shock.

And when footage of the actual shooting appeared, people started crying and screaming in shocked horror.

Counsellors moved into action, consoling and offering water to those who collapsed.

Judge Ian Farlam immediately called for a brief adjournment so that calm could be restored. The commission is set to view more video footage of the incident on resumption.

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, who represents 21 of the families of the deceased, has suggested the families be moved to a private room where they will watch the proceedings in the company of counsellors.

“You are taking us back there!” a man wearing a black T-shirt was heard shouting as he left the auditorium after the announcement of the adjournment.

The hearing continues.

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