Family members distraught over footage

By Drum Digital
23 October 2012

Family members of miners shot and killed at the Lonmin Platinum mine collapsed and broke into loud sobs as video footage of the shooting was shown

to the judicial commission of inquiry on Tuesday.

Proceedings came to a halt as a number of women wailed and fell to the floor.

A woman started screaming and shouting as another two tried to console her.

Many had to be carried out as their emotions took over.

Commission chair retired judge Ian Farlam apologised to the families, saying he had not realised that particular footage was of the shooting.

The police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78 on August 16.

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12,500.

Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.

Three video clips supplied by eNews were shown to the commission.

The first two videos were from August 16 about an hour before the shooting.

This was to give the commission context to what happened before the shooting.

The third video showed the miners on the hill and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa on his knees, pleading with them to leave.

The footage then showed the moment police opened fire.

Straight afterwards the auditorium at the Rustenburg Civic Centre fell silent.

The silence was then broken by distraught family members reacting to the footage they had just seen.

-by Sapa

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