Journo's account of shooting questioned

2012-08-31 19:50

Johannesburg - The credibility of an article suggesting miners in Marikana were shot at close range and driven over was extremely worrying, the Institute for Security Studies said on Friday.

"I find this story so wild in terms of its accusations and assumptions... it discredits the whole story," senior researcher Johan Burger said.

"I wouldn't want to comment on it. I don't want to give it any further credence."

Photojournalist Greg Marinovich on Thursday claimed - in an article published on the Daily Maverick website - that some of the striking workers killed at Lonmin's platinum mine appeared to have been shot at close range, or crushed by Nyala police vehicles.

On 16 August, 34 striking miners were shot dead in a confrontation with police trying to disperse them at the mine, in Marikana near Rustenburg in the North West. Another 78 were injured.

Marinovich, who scoured the crime scene at Marikana, wrote that most of those who died, according to the surviving strikers and researchers, were killed beyond the view of cameras at a collection of boulders about 300m behind Wonderkop.

According to Marinovich, the miners had no escape route and were shot at close range.

A surviving mineworker told him that as the men were coming down from the hill where they had gathered, the shooting began.

"We ran until we got to the meeting spot and watched the incidents at the koppie," the miner was quoted as saying.

"Two helicopters landed; soldiers and police surrounded the area. We never saw anyone coming out of the koppie."

The mineworker said injured miners, who he had visited in hospital, had been shot in the back, or had been run over by Nyalas.

Peter Alexander, professor of sociology at the University of Johannesburg, and two researchers, also interviewed witnesses.

According to Marinovich, a miner told researcher Botsong Mmope that miners who ran towards the koppie decided to lie down, thinking that if they did the police would not shoot them.

"At that time, there were bullets coming from a helicopter above them... He [the miner] says he watched Nyalas driving over the prostrate, living miners," Mmope was quoted as saying.

Burger said if there was any truth to these allegations he was sure the judicial commission of inquiry, appointed by President Jacob Zuma, would investigate this.

"Members of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate [IPID} were on the scene doing the necessary investigations. I am fairly happy that those guys treated the crime scene with the necessary professionalism. I wonder if the author [Marinovich] discussed this with the [IPID]?"

Burger said a high-profile IpPID delegation investigated the scene.

"I got the impression they sent a high-profile delegation and did everything possible to make sure it was properly handled."

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the directorate would not comment on the shooting or any allegations until its investigation was complete.

He said they would co-operate with the commission of inquiry and provide it with information.

  • Neal Sing - 2012-08-31 20:04

    It is South Africa .I believe we have a barbarious police force. Anything is possible.Shooting of people and running over with Nyalas seem pretty believable to me

      ianon.ym - 2012-08-31 20:18

      Allegations, Accusations and Assumptions - the truth will never come out.

      john.jack.1612147 - 2012-08-31 20:19

      The ANC will go to any length to protect the interest of the big corporates even if gthey have to commit genocide. We need a change in giovernment and the ANC from Nelson Mandela to the police officers must be tried for crimes against humanity

      John - 2012-08-31 20:33

      From personal experience with our POLICE I see a resurgence of Hitler's Gestapo. YOU the PEOPLE will submit to your government who are elected by you and they are sworn to uphold the constitution. I seriously doubt that the majority of our PUBLIC SERVANTS have read it never mind comprehended it! If they did these atrocities would not occur!

      godfrey.welman - 2012-08-31 21:06

      What value did Burger add to what we already know???

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 22:18

      @ John You obviously have your views of the police - like we all do. They are definitely not all complimentary. But the police I saw on the videos were not acting out your criticism of them.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-31 20:14

    "I am fairly happy that those guys treated the crime scene with the necessary professionalism." If they did, where did the bullet casings that were shown to Zuma come from?...

      mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-08-31 20:23

      even cops within minutes after the shooting were seen running with weapons allegely taken from dead miners & that is called "contamination of the scene".Journo's must bring all info to the light, no coverups

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 20:52


      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 21:07

      Ntshobs I did not see it and I doubt others saw it. How many weapons did you see were taken from dead miners within minutes of the shooting? Rubbish! As for my comment of "precisely", it applied to the sudden appearance on the scene of bullet castings that was shown to Zuma.

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-31 21:20

      'I am fairly happy.....' also means that you are not hundred percent sure.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-08-31 22:09

      Desilusionada: I think concidering the area of the scene so large it had to be photgraphed from the air after all relevant exhibits were learly marked, could it be a possibility that a few miners decided to pick up the bullet casings before it was recovered by forensic experts ? Such investigations doesn`t take a few hours, it can take days to be processed.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-08-31 22:30

      Ntshobs - Don`t think I`m pro police here but please try to understand : This was not a shopping mall shoot out between cops & robbers where cops killed a few robbers and their buddies got away in a taxi...There was mayhem after the shooting and those weapons had to be secured as soon as possible.

      mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-09-01 02:36

      @crracker on e news, they lined three cameras(enews,reuters &eyewitnes news)maybe you were smoking nyaope, they showed a policeman with a 9mm pistil. @bobo you need to have your head examined maybe they dropped you while you were young, contamination of scene is contamination of scene whether you do it to cover your backside in a shopping mall or you do it at Marikana it remains the same,"contamination of scene

      harold.parsons.37 - 2012-09-01 09:21

      Ntshobs are you saying the police should not have disarmed the people on the ground. Have you forgotten that a few days earlier these poor "victims" had disarmed policeman and security gaurds by chopping them up into pieces and now you suggest the police should not have disarmed them. Whats wrong with our society that we have made the police the enemy. These are the people that put their live on the line to protect us while we sleep. I think to many of us have been brain washed with civil disobedience and anti-police propoganda.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-09-01 09:59

      Ntshobs : Yea..Since you are this forensic/Criminalistic expert : If I drop you in a septic tank....Do I contaminate you or do I contaminate the septic tank - Since you are full of Sh..t anyways....Listen expert : Forensics isn`t there to prove who is right and who is wrong, it`s there to present the evidence at hand after an icident..based on those evidence gathered after an incident, the court must make a final desicion. Therefore can contamination only occur after a crime scene were secured. Taking a fire arm of the diseased before the scene has been secured forms part of the crime scene..Get it ? Still not ?? If Mr x commits house robbery and flea the scene he will always leave evidence behind no matter how carefull he was...Did he contaminate the scene ? No ..because his DNA/fingerprins/blood etc.. forms part of the crime scene that will be collected. Do you get it now - Mr Expert ?

  • ntshebe.nguni - 2012-08-31 20:15

    Its a pity South Africa is becoming like any other African country, cover up any administration flaws and silence the masses with the barrel of a gun...

      john.jack.1612147 - 2012-08-31 20:21

      And than blame they victims fior murder. Nelson Mandela has changed the ANC from a dignified liberation movement to a corrupt brutal regine

  • John - 2012-08-31 20:21

    Now this story has the ring of truth about it. Without having been there, these were the questions that came to my mind. How many miners had bullet wounds entering the front of their bodies? How many were shot in the back? How many POLICE sustained any wounds? Who fired the first shot? I believe it was the POLICE. Where is ALL the video footage? Why do WE only see the edited version making the POLICE seem to be the victims? Something seems very FISHY to me!

      mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-08-31 20:33

      those we saw on tv being dropped by automatic rifles were less than 15 so where were the rest killed???????? and how were they killed?????????

      rui.d.barros.7 - 2012-08-31 21:01

      It was the miners behind - they were so high on Muti that they shot their own by mistake and now they blaming the police (hence the shot in the back)

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 21:16

      @ John The videos we saw were from independent news agencies. They were definitely NOT edited by the police. Now the lies start!

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-31 20:42

    LOL! And the ignorant photojournalist believed the lies coming out of the surviving miners mouths. How thick do you have to be?

      John - 2012-08-31 20:56

      He reported what he was told from his investigations. Any statement is true until refuted. I would suggest that you ask more questions. WE have NOT been given ALL the facts by the authorities or the media. Something is being hidden from US. Whatever their agenda is I would love to know.

      omphile.umphimodise - 2012-08-31 22:01

      irene you are such an ignorant morron who is a shame to humanity.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-01 00:54

      Omphile ~ Sorry pal, but it's you who's the ignorant one here. Try using your brain for a bit more than keeping your body functioning ... you might be surprised at what you learn.

  • John - 2012-08-31 20:47

    I find Johan Burger's comments to smack of COVER UP. Who is his master that he does not ask questions to enlighten US, the PEOPLE? He seems to want to use his position to SMOTHER the truth. All the PEOPLE must question anything stated in the manner of public relations. When they speak, I immediately ask WHY?, WHAT?, WHERE?, WHO?. I would urge ALL the PEOPLE to do likewise! This way we would not be susceptible to the lies emitted through the media.

      Malose-Nyatlo - 2012-08-31 21:01

      The truth John is that individuals who think they have relevant information in this regard should take it to the commission formed to investigate the tragedy - and not the media.\r\n One could argue that in the pandemonium which ensued miners shot each other in the back, at close range, as they had no thorough training in the weapons they carried. But until forensics are done, we can only speculate - and whip up emotions in the process.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 21:08

      @ John Irrespective of the merits, who is Johan Burger's master and how do you know it?

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-31 21:04

    Look at the build-up. The dangerous weapons. The killing of 4 (2 policemen/2 security guards) and 6 others. The evocative posing for photos by the strikers with their weapons. Those spit-shined weapons, including modern fire-arms. The use of muti to overcome the police. IT WAS A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE STATE AND ITS AUTHORITY. It was NOT the average or usual criminal conduct for individual or even extended gangster benefits. We cannot afford such potential anarchy in this country and whoever actively continues to support it must also be prosecuted.

  • sarel.brits - 2012-08-31 21:34

    If it is found not to be the case as \reported\ this man should be put in jail as South Africa do not need speculation that can cause further violence and instability, If this turns out to be the case I would see this as an attack on our constitution by SAPS and the Government that warrants resistance from citizenry.

  • george.pito - 2012-08-31 21:52

    How many rounds were issued to whom and how many left. Like in the old days. I dont think the police had any option then back to who were in charge and then they rocked up there armed so both parties learned a lesson. Now all the political vultures are loose. The next phase with all the political interference will probably be more calculated and if a next session like this happens a choopper or two may come down. It only proofs that the same thing happens with or without apartheid and it happens in the rest of Africa. Pay the miners waht they want and soon the mines close down so the same problems will pop up somewhere else.

  • John - 2012-08-31 22:26

    Amazing!, I read the article and all of my questions are answered. It is exactly as I imagined when I saw the media's version which raised the questions in my mind. Most killings took place out of sight of the main stream media who get fed their data from the authorities who have a vested interest in obscuring the truth. The miners were set up to be massacred out of sight. So it's the word of the miners against the 400 R5 live ammo wielding police robots with Helicopters? Who are they fooling? Not ME!

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-01 01:07

      Get a life!

      mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-09-01 02:55

      my point exactly John, the miners we saw on tv being shot were very few, while many were being executed elsewhere.

  • pjthesecond.eldest - 2012-08-31 22:27

    Anyways what is this crap in SA that when people protest, they are armed? I hear the cries of "traditional weapons" but weapons don't belong in a strike march or are the strikers confused between a "strike" and a "show of force"?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-08-31 23:57

      The strikers were on the hill two weeks prior to the third, only in the third week did things start to get out of control, we have to question why this is the case. Yes...we have to ask why the workers felt the need to arm themselves even though thay had managed to strike peacefully without incident for over two weeks.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-01 01:08

      Mob mentality but then don't forget the rabbit that caused it all.

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-09-01 09:21

      We must also not forget that there were workers on the hill who were reporting concerns about warnings by police two days before the shooting that they were going to be shot.

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-09-01 09:23

    those miners hacked 2 policemen to death as they did to 2 security guards and 6 civilians - they are murderers and deserve what they got. for the people who want war in SA - let this be a lesson to what happens to people painted in muti with pangas running to attack!

  • flysouth - 2012-09-01 10:50

    Many people have missed the fact that the SAPS themselves stated shortly after the Marikana incident hit the news, that they conducted an operation, immediately after the mass-shooting which we all saw on video, to round up other miners involved in violence etc. This happened off camera. Other journalists stated that numerous gunshots were heard, as this operation took place, out of sight of journos. It seems clear that these miners did not surrender easily and tried to escape from police. It is likely that some who resisted and threatened police whilst police were trying to arrest them would have been shot at close range. All arguments which apply logic and claim that these miners would not have resisted arrest when faced with cops with firearms make no sens - we have already seen total illogicality in the miner's actions as a result of their belief in witchcraft and invincibility spells. I fail to comprehend the massive emphasis on the 'rights' of these miners and the apparent outpouring of sympathy for them, men who effectively took up arms against the state in what was a rebellion, whilst we hear so little regarding the 10 people including 2 policemen and 2 security guards butchered horrendously by these rebels. Sure - let there be an enquiry - any guilty of wrongdoing must be punished, but make sure that there is no bias towards the 'poor' miners. Already we are seeing in the courts the likelihood that not one miner will be punished for any of the 10 murders!

  • charles.butler.5074 - 2012-09-02 09:13

    It looks as if people with their own agendas are spreading their versions of what happened,funny how easy people believe these stories without any substance, because it suits them,lets investigate these stories before we accept them as fact,because some peoples imagenations are running wild,this looks like blatent anti police properganda

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