Farlam makes appeal to media

By Drum Digital
13 March 2013

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry made an appeal to media houses on Wednesday to hand over any outstanding footage of the August 16 shooting at Marikana, North West.

"If there is anything that we haven't been shown, please take steps to give it to the evidence leaders," the commission's chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, said in Rustenburg.

"It is vitally important that we do our utmost best to get to the truth."

Farlam said it was important that footage of the August 16 shooting not be withheld, and that the commission's findings would go down in history.

He said material should not be withheld to exonerate or implicate people.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, told the commission he "stumbled upon footage" which had not been presented to the commission.

"I am aware that there is an ethical implication," he said.

"I would like to make a special appeal to the SABC... to release material."

Mpofu was speaking ahead of his re-examination of Lonmin miner Mzoxolo Magidiwana, who was wounded during the shooting. Magidiwana told the commission on Monday that two journalists were present when police assaulted him.

On Tuesday, he recognised one of the journalists in a picture shown to the commission. On Wednesday, Mpofu said his team had identified two journalists who fit the description Magidiwana gave, and he would provide the names to the commission.

"I am meeting with the one on Saturday," he said.

Mpofu said he had found footage which had not been shown to the commission before, and indicated he would use it during his re-examination.

"The first clip is quite short and collateral, but the main footage will require a warning," he said.

Farlam said it was important to warn the commission before footage was played of people being shot or assaulted, because of the sensitivity of the matter, and because relatives of the miners were present at the hearings, being held in the Rustenburg civic centre.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana.

On August 16, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 injured when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine. Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

During his re-examination Magidiwana, 23, started crying when he spoke about the advice and warnings he received from his father to not join the strike, but to return home to the Eastern Cape.

The commission adjourned to allow him to compose himself.

Before the short adjournment, Magidiwana apologised to President Jacob Zuma for saying on Tuesday that every man, including the president, carried an assegai or stick when leaving his house.

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega is expected to testify before the commission after the re-examination.

-by Sapa

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