Marikana witness breaks down

2013-02-28 15:16

Bodies lay prostrate in the dust, eyes staring to the heavens in death. They lay there, their clothes splattered in blood.

Some lay facing down, pools of blood forming around their faces.

One lay facing upwards, his head ripped open, exposing his brains.

This was the scene from a video shown to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry earlier today during the testimony of Mzoxolo Magidiwana (24).

The footage was taken by police at the scene where 16 mine workers were shot dead by police in Marikana on August 16. In total, 34 people were killed that day, with another 18 shot a few hundred metres from the first scene, which was captured by television and press cameras.

In the footage, which was captured moments after the shooting, Magidiwana is seen lying in the dust, attempting to raise his hand towards a stick lying next to his body.

Magidiwana was also part of that group at the first scene. He was shot seven times, but miraculously survived. He now walks with the aid of crutches and says doctors have told him he may never be able to father any children. One of the bullets hit him in the testicles.

Seeing the scene of his colleagues’ dead bodies proved too much for Magidiwana, who was being led through his evidence by his lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu.

He broke down, forcing commission chairperson retired Judge Ian Farlam to adjourn the proceedings for a while.

Mpofu is arguing that Magidiwana’s group was trying to reach the informal settlement of Nkaneng where most of them lived when they were shot by police.

Police are arguing that the group was on a mission to “engage in a mortal duel” with the officers who were trying to disperse and arrest them.

The group was armed with myriad weapons, including spears, sharpened iron rods, pangas and a firearm.

The hearing continues.

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