Bodies of Marikana cops 'gruesome'

2012-10-29 22:30
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Rustenburg - It was gruesome to see the bodies of two policemen hacked to death by protesting mineworkers at Marikana, North West, a crime scene expert said on Monday.

This was the evidence of Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Johannes Botha in an inquiry into the 16 August shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana:

Dumisa Ntsebeza, for families of the miners who were shot dead, asked Botha: "I am told they [the bodies] were a gruesome sight, would you confirm that?

Botha replied: "Sir, the people were hacked to death, it didn't look good."

Asked to express his personal feelings, he said he was an experienced policeman who knew how to deal with emotions.

"After 28 years [of service in the police], you learn to cut yourself off the scene. You tell yourself that you have a duty to do, even if it's the body of a policeman."

The two policemen were killed in protest violence in Marikana on 13 August.

Three days later, police shot dead 34 miners and wounded 78 when they tried to disperse strikers near the Lonmin mine.

A judicial commission chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam resumed public hearings on the matter in Rustenburg on Monday as part of its inquiry into the shooting.

Ntsebeza asked Botha if his reaction to the bodies of his dead colleagues was not a commitment to ensuring that the people who had killed the policeman "must pay for it".

Botha said: "All criminals are supposed to be brought to book. If you kill a policeman you must be brought to book, if you kill a civilian you must also be brought to book."

He denied a claim by Ntsebeza that the graphic photographs he had taken of the bodies of the police officers during the post mortems were widely circulated among police.

Botha was also questioned about a video he took from a helicopter on the day of the shooting.

The video was screened at the inquiry, and ran for about 40 minutes.

A second shorter video, taken from another helicopter, was also viewed.

Stun grenades fired

Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, said the bulk of the video had been devoted to scenes away from the hill where the miners were shot dead.

Botha said he knew miners were on the hill and not at the hostels, at the Lonmin mine or in the veld.

"And yet your video devotes about 80% to 90%... to those areas just mentioned," said Mpofu.

Botha said when he arrived at the scene there was no one on the hill any longer, but people were running in the veld.

He said he was sent to record a dispersing and disarming police operation.

Botha testified that two stun grenades were shot from the helicopter he was in.

He told the commission there were four helicopters in the air at the same time, two were police helicopters.

Botha said he did not know who the other two belonged to.

On Monday morning, the matter of funding the travel expenses of the bereaved families to attend the hearings, came before the commission.

The department of justice said it would fund the families of mineworkers killed who wanted to attend the inquiry.

Confusion arose on Saturday when the department issued a statement that it would no longer fund the attendance.

However, the department on Monday said it would fund those who wanted to attend.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
36 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.