Marikana strikers fled after torching

2012-11-20 18:44
Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

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

Rustenburg - Protesting mineworkers ran off after setting fire to Lonmin mine vehicles with security guards inside, the Farlam commission learnt on Tuesday.

Before the video footage captured on 12 August was screened on large television sets inside the Rustenburg Civic Centre, family members and friends were requested to leave.

A few people walked out of the public gallery where members of the families of the deceased, media, some of the people who took part in the protests and community members were following proceedings.

A member of the evidence-leading team showing the footage told the three-member commission that after setting the two men and cars alight, the loose crowd of protesters ran off with a shotgun seized from one of the Lonmin guards.

The commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 34 striking miners in a clash with police near the Lonmin mine in Marikana on 16 August.

Another 78 people were wounded in the shooting and scores were arrested.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in violent protests at the mine.

The footage shown on Tuesday was seemingly taken from remote distances and the images were not clear.

On 13 August, the footage showed a confrontation between police officers and a group of protesters armed with pangas, spears, sticks and knobkerries, near railway lines in Wonderkop.

The group knelt down, clutching the weapons as they were addressed by Major General William Mpembe. The police officers appealed to the protesters to surrender their weapons and to stop the illegal gatherings.

Leaders of the protesters declined to hand over the weapons. The group said it would disarm if the police brought the "umlungu", referring to Lonmin mine bosses.


Earlier, video footage showed that the traditional weapons were brought in at a later stage of the wildcat strike which turned deadly.

The evidence-leading team screened a series of video clips captured by members of Lonmin security and police officers.

Footage captured on 9 August, during the early stages of the protest, showed the protesters gathered at a Lonmin office in Wonderkop.

The hundreds of protesters were singing and chanting.

No traditional weapons were captured in that scene.

A member of the evidence-leading team stated that evidence would be led to show that the protest action started off without the use of traditional weapons, including pangas, spears, knobkerries, clubs, and sticks.

The team, led by advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga, had requested to screen video footage captured between 9 and 16 August before the three-member commission.

Scenes captured on 10 and 11 August were significantly different from those of 9 August.

The protesters had brought their traditional weapons with them; some were dancing ecstatically and waving the weapons.

The crowd of protesters marched to a Lonmin office, which was secured by guards and police officers.

Family members, clad mainly in black, stared attentively as the series of videos were played on large television screens.

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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

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


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 network.


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.