Marikana judge inspects burnt body site

2012-10-02 12:43
The commission probing the shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine has inspected an area where two security guards were allegedly burned to death. (AP)

The commission probing the shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine has inspected an area where two security guards were allegedly burned to death. (AP)

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Rustenburg - The commission probing the August shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine on Tuesday inspected an area where two security guards were allegedly burned to death.

The company's Natasha Viljoen led commission chair judge Ian Farlam and his team to a charred site under a tree, near the Andrew Saffy hospital.

"Two incidents happened here. Two of our employees and two vehicles were burnt here, at this tree. These incidents happened on August 12," she said.

The security guards were employees of Lonmin.

The commission is conducting a judicial inquiry into the shooting at the North West mine that left 34 people dead and 78 wounded on 16 August when police fired on striking workers.

Broken windows

The preceding week saw 10 people, including two security guards and two policemen, being killed in violent protests at the Lonmin mine.

After inspecting the scene where the guards were killed, Viljoen led the commissioners to the nearby offices of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), next to an abandoned satellite police station.

Staff at the NUM offices showed the judge broken windows, apparently pelted with stones by the protesters on 12 August.

Local NUM secretary Dalivulo Bongo said the offices had been evacuated after a tip-off about the rowdy crowd approaching.

"When we came back in the afternoon we saw that our office had been damaged. We ran away when we heard that there were some burnings happening nearby," said Bongo.

He said that there was no forced entry into the offices branded with logos of the African National Congress, the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

Several people, including Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa, followed the commission members, taking photographs.

Earlier, the inspection team visited a site where four vehicles were burnt at Lonmin's western platinum technical services offices on 16 August.

The parking bays where the vehicles had been burnt were covered in glass, debris and ash.

The visit to the office was part of the in loco (place) inspection by the commission. From the Lonmin office the commission would go to the area where two security guards were killed.

The commission accompanied by lawyers, observers and media would also visit the Wonderkop mining hostels, Lonmin formal housing and two informal settlements in the area.

Some of the legal teams representing the workers and families asked that the commission also look at where Lonmin management lived in Mooinooi.

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest
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