Miner breaks down, cries at commission

2013-03-13 17:54
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - Lonmin miner Mzoxolo Magidiwana broke down and cried on Wednesday when new footage of the 16 August shooting at Marikana, North West, was shown at a Farlam Commission of Inquiry hearing in Rustenburg.

Commission chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, adjourned the hearing as Magidiwana sat with his head bowed and crying.

"It is terrible," said Farlam. "Even if he is prepared to carry on, I don't know if we should subject him to further interrogation," he said.

The new footage of the shooting was shown by advocate Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners.

"It is definitely new footage, although it shows old footage. It is definitely new footage," he said.

The eNews footage was a live crossing on the telephone to a reporter in Marikana, with a camera recording the actions of miners and the police.

The reporter said the police had told him they ran back after inhaling gas while trying to disperse the crowd, and said they saw about three guns in the miners' possession.

The video showed the police shoot the miners, and later showed men lying in pools of their own blood on the ground.

Mpofu said he discovered this clip and a shorter clip from the SABC while looking for the two journalists Magidiwana claimed had seen the police assaulting him.

Miner crying 'purposely'

Earlier, Farlam appealed to the media to make all the footage of the day available. Mpofu made a special appeal to the SABC.

"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."

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

On 16 August, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were 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.
This was the second time the commission adjourned on Wednesday for Magidiwana, aged 23, to compose himself.

During his re-examination the miner 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 again heard how the miners ran away from the water sprayed by the police on the day.

Magidiwana asked why, if they ran away from water, they would run towards guns.

He also told the commission that if the miners had wanted to attack the police, they would have started with two police officers standing on the side and not the group of officers.

Mpofu asked: "On 16 August, did anyone address the group and ask [them] to put down weapons?"

Magidiwana, speaking through an interpreter, said no one had.

As the commission adjourned, people in the public gallery, dressed in National Union of Mineworkers attire, said Magidiwana was purposely crying.

"They said they had never seen a man cry so much.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  ian farlam  |  riah phiyega  |  dali mpofu  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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