Marikana: Too early to draw conclusions

2013-01-29 14:38
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Rustenburg - It was premature to draw conclusions from so-called "new" cellphone video footage of the Marikana shootings, the Farlam commission heard on Tuesday.

"In the circumstances, the commission is of the view that it is premature to draw conclusions from the video footage that is included in the broadcast," commission chairperson Ian Farlam said in Rustenburg.

Farlam confirmed that two policemen, a Captain Rylands and a Sergeant Mahlatsi, filmed the footage on 16 August.

"The footage was provided to the commission by the [SAPS] without compulsion and was shown in the commission on 21 November."

He said it was of poor quality and when it was shown, the voices were not clearly audible.

Farlam said neither the police nor anyone else had testified before the commission about the video.

Released by Britain's Channel 4 News on Sunday, it shows how police kept their guns trained on two men while they crawled through a field.

It shows a tactical response team officer calling for restraint while a miner is on the move.

"The guy is there running. Wait. Don't shoot him, don't shoot him," the officer shouts.

However, gunshots are heard and then the camera moves over the lifeless body of a man.

Another officer is quoted with subtitles: "That motherfucker. I shot him at least 10 times."

The video is part of a broadcast in which journalist Inigo Gilmore reports that the dead man was later identified, and that he had been shot 12 times.

Later, a police officer is heard speaking in Afrikaans about someone having a smaller gun, and imitating the sounds of the gunshots.

"[The police video was taken] a few hundred metres away from the media and, crucially, out of sight of their cameras, where most of the miners actually died," Gilmore reports.

The broadcast also shows recordings of the day's events as captured by other media houses.

Gilmore said the police video raised questions about what happened at the hill where 34 miners were killed and 78 wounded on 16 August, when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered there.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and the two security guards, were hacked to death.

On Monday, the video caused a stir on the social media website Twitter.

One person, @B_K_chronicles, tweeted: "I guess its safe to say cops simply murdered people in cold blood. This video tells a whole new angle now!"

A tweeter named @Fergs24 called the policeman's comments disgraceful and added: "I feel sick".

Another tweeter commented: "That Marikana shooting video report just reminds one of times best forgotten."

The commission continues.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry
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