Marikana crime scenes were 'disturbed'

2012-10-31 22:18

Rustenburg - Crime scenes where 34 miners were killed in August were disturbed, the Farlam commission heard on Wednesday.

"No blame on your team, but your scene was corrupt?" Ishmael Semenya, for the SA Police Service, asked a crime scene expert.

Captain Apollo Mohlaki agreed.

"We will hear evidence that paramedics asked that weapons be removed so they could do their work," said Semenya.

Mohlaki said he had not heard that.

He agreed, however, that the way the traditional weapons were collected was not the way it was usually done.

Semenya said the evidence would also show that as much as 400 rounds of live ammunition was fired on 16 August between the scene at the kraal and the small hill, and more than 500 rubber bullets.

Thirty-four miners were killed and 78 wounded when police opened fire on them near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, on August 16.

The judicial commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, was holding public hearings in Rustenburg as part of its inquiry into the shooting.

Two video cameras documented the evidence collection at the scenes.

It was standard for evidence collectors to take a video as they processed a crime scene, said Mohlaki.

He said he arrived on the scene around 16:00 and left the next day after 15:00.

Mohlaki was being cross-examined after he gave evidence-in-chief on the scene at the small hill. He had led the evidence collection team.

Mohlaki told the commission where he had found bodies lying in between the rocks and trees.

He said no cartridge cases were found in the vicinity of nine of the bodies.

A pistol was found among the bodies. It was loaded with 15 rounds and was lying between two rocks. He could not say whether the pistol had been fired.

Mohlaki said Julius Mangcotywa and Rafael Janeveke Liau were found near a rock on the northern side of the small hill.

"Body D [Mangcotywa], the head was facing the rock; body E [Liau], the head was opposite the rock," said Mohlaki.

The bodies of Thabiso Mosebetsane and Mafolisi Mabiya were found lying between rocks big enough to "cover a body", while that of Henry Mvuyisi Pato was found between rocks and a tree.

Mohlaki said 9mm cartridge cases were found near the body of Makhosandile Mkhonjwa.

He said Nkosinathi Xalabile was found dead at the edge of a rock, next to some trees on the south side of the hill.

"The body looked like it was trapped by a tree. It was lying on the ground," said Mohlaki.

The bodies of Anele Mdizeni and Thabiso Thelejane had gunshot wounds and were found on the ground.

That of Thobile Mphumza was found about 150m away.

Mohlaki said traditional weapons were also found.

He was cross-examined by George Bizos, for Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation, and Tim Bruinders, for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.

  • NickvanGraan - 2012-10-31 22:27

    I have no doubt the crime scene was disturbed. It also looks as if vital footage taken from the helicopter has been edited or destroyed. Now the finger pointing will start along with the denials and lack of memory.

      lsfreak - 2012-10-31 22:54

      Hey we all knew this was gonna happen, just like the Zipper debarcle in Parliament...

      isikhuluesimhlophe.esimhlophe - 2012-11-01 07:20

      Hi Nick, you are being manipulated like a 2 year old child. 1. The crowd was "armed" with more than traditional weapons! 2. The crowd fired the first salvo at the police (google it).3. In any footage do you see any police using hand guns? SAPS used R4/R5, shotgun and rubber bullets. So who used the handguns? 4. ONLY 8 OF THE PEOPLE KILLED WERE EMPLOYED MINERS, the balance of the people were "rent a crowd" shipped in to intimidate and instigate.5.What about the sangoma's on the hill to give the miners muti to protect them from bullets?6. What about Julius Malema inciting violence? I am not condoning or justifying on how this went down, I am just looking at both sides of the story.

      NickvanGraan - 2012-11-01 09:02

      I am being manipulated like a 2 year old child hey?, I never realised that I was that susceptible. You seem to have clearly missed my point Mr isikhuluesimhlophe.esimhlophe. I am not disputing what happened. I probably know more about this than you do. The point I am making is that the police know a finger is being pointed at them (whether you like it or not) because the 34 people who died were not police and this is what is coming up in the enquiry. The fact that so many people died in my opinion boils down to poor police training. Afterwards I believe the police panicked and messed with the "crime scene" I also believe footage taken from the helicopter was also probably messed with. The things you point out are a completely separate issue and have nothing to do with the point I was making.

  • vera.platt - 2012-10-31 22:42

    Seriously, does anyone expect anything more from our useless SAPS?

      marelizeleroux - 2012-11-05 13:26

      See how loud you scream for the "useless SAPS" when you get held up, or raped or attacked... oops sorry.. just another USELESS police officer putting my life on the line for yours everyday...

  • oneman.njilana - 2012-10-31 23:03

    Whether police try rubbing down the truth with lies the blood is on their hands. They accepted worst orders from greedy black elite who have betrayed the black masses.

      Paul Mphap - 2012-11-01 01:43

      @mister....i dont no u but i guess u r irresponsible idiot who is being controlled like a amount of anger justifies the marikana killings by incompetent police...mxm.

      gerald.nchabeleng - 2012-11-01 07:17

      @ mister.bang.tidy Responsibility of what exactly?

  • Bontle Mpho Motoma - 2012-11-01 01:00

    ohh dear Marikana, those people went ther they wer never sent by any1 .haaai they had pangas for display? ag they r also to blame wth those blankets nxa

      Paul Mphap - 2012-11-01 01:34

      stupid bontie...u dont know what u r saying & i hope God will forgive u.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-11-01 05:33

    Human Rights Commission chairman, Danny Titus said the callous comments that have been made by various national police commissioners effectively licensed brutality by law enforcement officials. "We do see the 'shoot to kill' policy having an effect. We see increased arrogance in the police. "We saw it with former national commissioner Jackie Selebi and his 'finish and klaar' comment. We are seeing it with current commissioner, Riah Phiyega, saying there is no need to say 'Sorry' to Marikana miners [shot by the police]."

      dewalds3 - 2012-11-01 07:07

      It is your libtard flopstaat in motion, OU, - this is what you wanted and this is what you get! The best is still to come. Hehehe...

  • joe.whiteman.9 - 2012-11-01 05:33

    @ Paul Mishap The moral of the story is , dont bring a spear to a gunfight !!!

  • wul4I - 2012-11-01 06:00

    Zuma is responsable. and must step down. or must be take away.

      luvo.luvos - 2012-11-01 07:26

      Why not go for English night classes?? Your grammar is in serious need of help.

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-11-01 08:18

      The new McZuma burgo combo? Or how about the super-filling Msholozi family meal combo?

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-11-01 06:21

    400 live rounds and only 34 dead? Good thing SAPS weren't protecting Boere at the battle of Blood River....

      brad.herbert.522 - 2012-11-01 10:03

      Just goes to show how poorly the SAPS are trained in firearms. only 25% of thier rounds actually hit someone. disgracfull!!!

  • Franna16 - 2012-11-01 06:32

    To everyone here saying the police are in the wrong for shooting the miners (White and Black BTW), I want you to stand in front of a mob (a mob carrying traditional weapons) charging down on you and see what you are going to do. I Promise you you are not going to just stand there and wait to get chopped up by a Panga or beaten with a club.

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-11-01 06:57

      If I'm on the other side of the mob, I'll do the smart thing and run for my life. The police on the other hand are trained for this kind of combat, they could have done better. Remember, this kind of behavoir was only acceptable during P.W and Them's times. I think the police must fry. We do not need gun carrying idiots for our country's protection, we need smart police officers.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-01 07:09

      Franna, it is futile to educate these liberals, who don't know and don't want to know the truth. Look, the police are not angels, but I support them at what happened at Markana!

      clint.rusford.3 - 2012-11-01 07:36

      In this scenario I'm sure u mean smart but dead police officers? As if they dnt have family members and it would be ok for them to die at work and not come home for being smart? ThEy are not inhumane but living human beings trying to do ther jobs which primarily is the prevention of crime. How would u feel if someone tries to stop u from doing ur job???

      Paul Mphap - 2012-11-01 07:53

      lack of info is misleading u & blame urself for being narrow minded...

  • Vice Masiza - 2012-11-01 07:15

    As the people complaining about the SAPS who must dai bcoz those people were attacking on Blue uniform or they were suppose to stand still being attack. SAPS members are being killed every day but we never hear commission of inquiry to determine the Police are being killed. Now my question is who's father/mother must dai

  • leon.pieterse.35 - 2012-11-01 07:24

    The protesters were also "disturbed" Anybody going to a gun fight armed with a traditional weapon is seriously disturbed!

  • neutedop.opinie - 2012-11-01 16:00

    400 rounds, and 34 dies. Either they fired a lot of warning shots (by the book) or they shoot like s**t.

  • heidi.oosthuizen.98 - 2012-11-07 12:36

    talk about crime scenes being disturbed - ambulance drivers have been proven to actually CAUSE some road accidents just to be on the scene first to harvest organs to sell to their 'healers' for muti. This has been proven. This is a strange culture.... Besides, if it weren't for the dumb and ignorant strikers, this whole Marikana thing wouldn't have happened.

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