Marikana: More than 400 rounds of live ammunition fired

2012-10-31 15:02

Police will lead evidence before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that not less than 500 rounds of rubber bullets and more than 400 rounds of live ammunition were fired on August 16.

This was revealed during cross examination of police forensic expert Captain Apollo Jeremiah Mohlaki by Advocate Ishmael Semenya SC, who is representing the SA Police Service at the commission.

Mohlaki examined the bloody scene at a small koppie, where the bodies of 18 of the 34 people who died that day were found.

Earlier today, Mohlaki testified that he had found bodies between rocks and trees. Many traditional weapons which included pangas, bush knives, spears, sticks and sharpened steel rods known in isiXhosa as incula, were scattered around the area.

He also recovered a firearm loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, and a further two were presented to him by detectives who said they had arrested two people in possession of the firearms.

Mohlaki agreed during cross examination by Semenya that the crime scene he examined was disturbed, which could have hampered his work of collecting evidence.

Semenya said there was evidence that paramedics had indicated while treating the wounded in an open area near the small koppie, that they were uncomfortable to treat them while there were dangerous weapons lying about.

Semenya indicated that the paramedics and police feared they could be attacked with the traditional weapons.

This led to police collecting the weapons and moving them away from the area which had been turned into a temporary medical centre.

He said this, and the fact that the terrain was “unfriendly,” could be why it was difficult for the forensic experts to carry out their work.

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