Bodies of Marikana cops 'gruesome'

2012-10-29 22:30

Rustenburg - It was gruesome to see the bodies of two policemen hacked to death by protesting mineworkers at Marikana, North West, a crime scene expert said on Monday.

This was the evidence of Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Johannes Botha in an inquiry into the 16 August shooting at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana:

Dumisa Ntsebeza, for families of the miners who were shot dead, asked Botha: "I am told they [the bodies] were a gruesome sight, would you confirm that?

Botha replied: "Sir, the people were hacked to death, it didn't look good."

Asked to express his personal feelings, he said he was an experienced policeman who knew how to deal with emotions.

"After 28 years [of service in the police], you learn to cut yourself off the scene. You tell yourself that you have a duty to do, even if it's the body of a policeman."

The two policemen were killed in protest violence in Marikana on 13 August.

Three days later, police shot dead 34 miners and wounded 78 when they tried to disperse strikers near the Lonmin mine.

A judicial commission chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam resumed public hearings on the matter in Rustenburg on Monday as part of its inquiry into the shooting.

Ntsebeza asked Botha if his reaction to the bodies of his dead colleagues was not a commitment to ensuring that the people who had killed the policeman "must pay for it".

Botha said: "All criminals are supposed to be brought to book. If you kill a policeman you must be brought to book, if you kill a civilian you must also be brought to book."

He denied a claim by Ntsebeza that the graphic photographs he had taken of the bodies of the police officers during the post mortems were widely circulated among police.

Botha was also questioned about a video he took from a helicopter on the day of the shooting.

The video was screened at the inquiry, and ran for about 40 minutes.

A second shorter video, taken from another helicopter, was also viewed.

Stun grenades fired

Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, said the bulk of the video had been devoted to scenes away from the hill where the miners were shot dead.

Botha said he knew miners were on the hill and not at the hostels, at the Lonmin mine or in the veld.

"And yet your video devotes about 80% to 90%... to those areas just mentioned," said Mpofu.

Botha said when he arrived at the scene there was no one on the hill any longer, but people were running in the veld.

He said he was sent to record a dispersing and disarming police operation.

Botha testified that two stun grenades were shot from the helicopter he was in.

He told the commission there were four helicopters in the air at the same time, two were police helicopters.

Botha said he did not know who the other two belonged to.

On Monday morning, the matter of funding the travel expenses of the bereaved families to attend the hearings, came before the commission.

The department of justice said it would fund the families of mineworkers killed who wanted to attend the inquiry.

Confusion arose on Saturday when the department issued a statement that it would no longer fund the attendance.

However, the department on Monday said it would fund those who wanted to attend.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

  • tebogo.nkomo - 2012-10-29 23:25

    well no sides but department of justice should stop involving themselves on things they dont know funding the families to attend it seems like our own government its against state police now and imagine a citizen killing a policeman come on the whole thing here its all about mine workers what about the police and for wage increase we south africans dont like this give the people what they deserve we cant let money do us apart please this people are hard workers appreciate it just once ao

      johan.uys.75 - 2012-10-30 07:39

      Good use of punctuation marks.

      nathanjaysa - 2012-10-30 08:26

      @ tebogo.nkomo - So where many other white people "Hard Workers"and we lost our works due to BEE and all that Crap....i was forced out of my work to make place for 2 Black people so all my hard work and Education and years of learning was a waste. Miners are not the only people in this world, but you always want to emphasize on why they cannot get more salary for their 5-7 Kids.. i think they need 1st Education to understand 1+1 mouth = 2 more mouths harder work not demand more money.. ,maybe then they will be careful of making just kids in life ....and over populate our POOR country.

      gwilym.howes - 2012-10-30 09:01

      You may have a point but with your poor grammar and lack of punctuation I am having difficulty making out what language you are using, let alone understanding your point.

      paul.nefdt - 2012-10-30 18:03

      @sean.wolf.3388: You should be careful when you insult Africa!!! It's not like the rest of the World.. be it European,Asian,Arabic or American is the best examples.. What was Germany under Hitler? What was Italy under Mussolini? What was England under these monarchs: King Stephen (l) was corrupt, Mary Tudor (c) was bigoted, and Henry VIII (r) was psychotic & lets not forget 'Queen Victora' (The Famine Queen) who is known for overseeing the ethnic cleansing of nearly 3 million of her Irish subjects in the mid 1800s. One million starved to death and another two million left for America.

  • oamis.lacadariedlac - 2012-10-30 00:12

    Somehow, it seems that the SAPS is being portrayed as the villians, for doing their our tax money is being wasted on a commission, transport for the murderers bereaved families......REALITY IS YOU KILL A POLICEMAN, YOU ARE A CRIMINAL AND MUST BE DEALT WITH AS SUCH, to the bereaved families, they should be suing the protest leaders who rallied up the masses into bloodthirsty frenzy lusting for death and blood.....unfortunately it was their blood that got spilled....

      dimitripappas - 2012-10-30 00:38

      agreed 100%.

      JohnB - 2012-10-30 05:46

      Why aren't they demanding compensation from the Muti Maker? Wasn't his dead bunny and muti supposed to make them invincible? $'@cking heathens!

  • whatda.fuqbro - 2012-10-30 00:13

    Yeah I've seen a machete attack before. That kind of stuff sticks in your mind permanently... face hanging off, bones visible through deep cuts, tons of blood... it really is nasty as hell. If you saw it yourself you'd realize these miners only deserved more bullets flying their way.

      Oraniaboer - 2012-10-30 00:30

      These miners are savages.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-10-30 09:19

      I received copiues of the photos of the two police that were hacked to death. It was stomach churning. Those miners got the lead they deserved.

  • Desiree.D.Rowe - 2012-10-30 02:33

    absolutly no sympathy from me either. The poor cops damned if they do damned if they don't they just can't win.We complain about our hard earned money being wasted. well it's being wasted on these Creatins bereaved families. and what about the bereaved families of the cops that were killed? I would rather my money went to those families they need it a lot more. live by violence die by violence, the laws of (human) nature.

      paul.nefdt - 2012-10-30 19:10

      @Desiree.D.Rowe: "We complain about our hard earned money being wasted. well it's being wasted on these Creatins bereaved families" How dare you say such a stupid thing, you should consult your brain before you talk!!! If you bothered to consider all the facts published in many newspapers relating to this, you would've realized that their were INNOCENT UNARMED men also killed amongst the guilty few the cops claimed provoked the tragedy. So the families of the innocent people should not attend the hearings - even though its a cover up - they should not seek justice, heck according to you EVERY South African is less deserving of anything than the POOR COPS who kill without the fear of being prosecuted????

  • johnny.matsetse - 2012-10-30 02:47

    Eish its bad to die in that manner

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-10-30 05:35

    If they can't protest without these lethal weapons..attacking the peace keepers and killing them with these lethal weapons..every person or policeman got the right to protect them is self defence.

      paul.nefdt - 2012-10-30 19:37

      @Asdiedamwalbars: I too have little or no sympathy for the 'supposed guilty ones' amongst those killed, but when & where did we give Police the right to act as the Judge,Jury & Executioners in our society?? Yes the police officers have the right to defend themselves, but that right does not include murdering innocent people, not everyone killed was guilty!! THIS IS NOT THE WILD WILD WEST, its not a cowboy movie, its REAL LIFE. The Police should Serve & Protect & by this I mean uphold the laws of the country, they - the SAPS - took a solemn oath to uphold the laws of SA & that includes protecting the innocent. We dont have a death penalty any longer because the law in the country says no matter what you are accused of, you have the right to a fair trial & if found guilty you must serve a prison sentence in a humane way, not be KILLED like a animal or some vermin. LIFE IS SACRED!! & if we allow anyone to desecrate that basic human right to live, then we have condemned ourselves eternally.

  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-10-30 06:50

    And the cops still don't ask.."why do the people I am supposed to protect want to hack me into little pieces??"

  • rouen.heiberg - 2012-10-30 06:57

    Big boys rules, you attack a eat lead. Nice and simple. These miners families love to play victims now, where were they when their familymembers were killing cops and securityguards? Government/ANC/DA whoever must put on their big girl panties and tell these people to go to hell..but you see its mos your constitutional right to behave like an hooligan and a savage. Welcome to Africa.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-10-30 06:59

    It is strange that these facts are only now being discussed. There are pictures of these policemen on the internet for several weeks now. It just again proves that the media is run by liberals and that the humanistic elements are the driving force in world opinion and that the truth must bow to the lie! The murdering miners are held to the world as the oppressed and downtrodden.

  • kimard - 2012-10-30 07:23

    and the families of the miners are going to cash in on it (like everything else) - lets blame everybody else, just not ourselves or our "poor" diseased husbands! no sympathy from me because its all self inflicted RIP SAPD members

  • Panayoti Stavrinos - 2012-10-30 07:29

    At the beginning. I agree that peaceful strikes have a place. Note 'PEACEFULL'. When was the last time we had a CIVILIZED strike in a so called civilized South Africa? It's simply UNEXEPTABLE. 2nd, if you act like an anarchist, then its the responsibility of the police to bring you under control, QUICKLY. the police should of never taken so long to take control of the situation. 3rd the police were hacked in NO reason to act like animals. 4th. that DOES NOT mean that the police can start shooting people for any reason. call reinforcement & use water guns & other peaceful means to take control the situation. how about learning how England controls their soccer hooligans?

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-30 07:34

    Are the security force members who were hacked to death families afforded the same support as those of the illegal strikers? In many overseas publications photos of these gruesome burnt bodies we shown and believe me not a pretty sight. Very little has been said about these deaths and by the perputraters of the brutal murders.

  • Roger Zipp - 2012-10-30 07:44

    Manipulation of disasters is a tough subject to discuss in this forum. In the white tribe of africa, the atrocities of bygone decades sound very similar. Humans are not coping with their world and its responsibilities it seems to me.

  • auntie.lebo - 2012-10-30 08:56

    These miners annoy the hell out of me firstly they're forcefully demanding a salary which is almost impossible to give to them there are graduates out there that earn less than R10000 and they want R16000 like wtf?! Secondly they're out there killing union members and police officers security guards and they're still walking scott free they're murderers but when the police officers take action it's their fault they get their funerals paid and all that bullsh@t,I just don't get it.

      kimard - 2012-10-30 09:53

      i agree - and they are unskilled demanding those salaries!! (just heard from a person out of sa) more inside info: this all started with malema - he is the instigator. bet he is sitting twiddling his thumbs while watching the news with a grin

  • gtiki - 2012-10-30 09:26

    in my humble opinion, i feel its the Unions that are coercing the miners to violence but for the benefit of the unions.They pretend to represent the miners but all they are after the member subscriptions in thier coffers. In retrospect the SAPS could have done a better job of handling the situation and it was illegal for the miners to come charging at the police with thier assortment of weapons. The Commission should rather seek to bring about healing ad derive lessons from this whole unfortunate incident. This witch hunting of who was wrong and who wasn't wont solve anything.

  • matshane.seleko - 2012-10-30 09:31

    I saw the facial picture of the body of one of the murdered police officers,just one look and I didn't want to look at it again.Gruesome and heartbreaking to the last degree.I can still feel a lump in my throat as I'm writing this article.And burning people alive in a vehicle?One of the incidents that would just make you speechless.

  • saleh.lukyamuzi - 2012-10-30 11:36

    A traditional healer" mamasafi" said tat groly be to queen, My name is saleh, I had a lost love problem, where by my wife went away from home with my two kids, I visited " Africa, now my wife is back with my kids we leave happily, thx mamasafi. For problems like lost love, marriage problem, bad luck I proved she can help.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-10-30 17:17

    Why so we see so little in the media about the investigation and arrests following the murder of the policemen

      Heinrich - 2012-11-02 04:06

      It only shows that police officers/peace keeping officers is nothing in the eyes of the government and it feels asif they(police) are dogs ,but remember they also have families and others came to marikana to score easy political points , I mean its clear as daylight that the country is being kept hostage economically and yet the police are wrong for protecting the innocent community and I say it \YES they acted within the scope of our constitution \ punish the ones who hacked the cops and set an example .NO julius malema everything is not racially motivated . Jirre 1994 is long gone and forgotten.

  • bobby.boon.18 - 2012-10-30 20:25

    Seems like the miners want 16K a month and medals for murdering Police officers of the Oppressing Government oh wait its thier own Government who employ the SAPS what about the Families of the Police officers who Died Because I dont believe the police are being payed enough!!!!

  • TawwaTienie - 2012-11-09 23:26

    Where are the family of police and security hacked to death. If miners did not start any strikes there were nothing. Who is the culprits behind the scenes of strikes country wide? M

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