Exclusive video: Miners were still breathing

2013-10-23 14:19

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More damning footage against the police, who shot and killed 34 miners in Marikana last year, has surfaced.

In the latest footage, miners – at the first scene of the shooting – can be seen tossing and turning in agony from their wounds. One miner can be seen trying to sit up but he falls down again.

He subsequently died, according to the Marikana Support Committee’s Rehad Desai.

According to an analysis of the digital time stamps on pictures a photographer took on the scene on the day, it took about 30 minutes for ambulances to be brought in to attend to the dying miners – and only after police had taken the miners’ weapons.

On Monday, Desai screened footage from his upcoming documentary at the Bioscope in Joburg. The footage shows police officers with drawn pistols before the miners moved off the koppie toward the Nkaneng informal settlement on August 16.


He has now given City Press exclusive access to footage, which shows that some miners were still breathing following the shooting.

“From this footage I managed to source, I counted that out of the 16 who died on that scene, eight were still breathing. If ambulances had reached them in time, more lives would have been saved,” said Desai, who has handed over the footage to the evidence leaders of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

Desai’s claim is based on his analysis of autopsy reports.


Tshepho Mahlangu, the spokesperson for the commission, confirmed that the evidence leaders had received the footage over the past weekend.

“The footage has been brought to the commissions’ attention. Evidence leaders received it from SERI (the Socioeconomic Rights Institute of SA) and they are currently examining it. It will be introduced in due course,” he said.

Mahlangu also added that all the new allegations against the police would be carefully considered by retired judge Ian Farlam and the commission will continue to keep an open mind.

In the footage shown on Monday, the miners can be seen walking towards Nkaneng.

The footage then shows them crouching and a miner shooting at police officers who respond with rubber bullets.

At this point, the Nyalas, which were also used to bring in the barbed wire, seem to be pushing the miners towards the tactical response team who open fire.

After a few seconds of gunfire at the first scene, the exclusive footage shows how the police walk over to the miners lying on the ground and remove their weapons.

On closer inspection, Desai says, many of the miners can be seen breathing. While ambulances were on the scene, it took approximately 30 minutes before the miners were assisted.

“We analysed the footage in detail and were able to identify who the miners were. This is a really graphic but no one should die in such an inhumane way,” said Desai.

SA Police Service national spokesperson general Solomon Makgale said that the police would not comment on the allegations at this time.

“Everything will be revealed and discussed at the commission,” he added.

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