Marikana miners haunted by police attack

2014-09-30 20:04
George Bizos, lawyer for the miners, stands in contemplation, during the Farlam commission investigation near Lonmin mine in Marikana. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

George Bizos, lawyer for the miners, stands in contemplation, during the Farlam commission investigation near Lonmin mine in Marikana. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Marikana - Lonmin miners who survived the 16 August 2012 shootings at Marikana said on Tuesday they were haunted by memories of the confrontation with police.

"As I hid on this spot, I saw two of my colleagues surrendering. Their hands were fully raised," Lonmin mineworker Shadrack Mtshamba said.

He was in an area referred to by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry as koppie three. The commission, led by retired Judge Ian Farlam, was at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West, on Tuesday for an inspection in loco.

"When the police found some of us from the hiding places, we were beaten and dragged to the point where we were arrested. The police beat us repeatedly," Mtshamba told reporters.

"As you can see, there are thorns and rocks on this area. Since then, not one of us has received counselling. We are traumatised even now. This place brings back bad memories."

Some Lonmin miners, who did not want to be named, said theirs had been a long wait for justice.

Evidence leader Matthew Chaskalson led a large delegation of commissioners, lawyers, journalists, surviving miners and widows near the hill in Wonderkop, Marikana.

A few of the miners wore red EFF T-shirts while some widows wore green Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) regalia.

Compared to the previous inspection in loco, there were fewer miners and widows.

Numerous police officers accompanied the delegation. A few Nyala armoured personnel carriers were parked nearby.

The previous inspection, on 8 September, was terminated due to security concerns. Chaos erupted when a woman wearing a red National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) T-shirt joined the inspection. Miners threatened her, shouting obscenities.

The area has been marked by rivalry between the NUM and Amcu.

Amcu replaced the NUM as the dominant union at Lonmin's platinum mining operations during the 2012 strike.

‘Cut the nonsense’

During the 8 September spat Farlam intervened, telling the miners to "cut the nonsense", but his calls were ignored.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with the police on 16 August.

More than 70 people were wounded and more than 200 were arrested. The police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two Lonmin security guards, were killed.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  lonmin  |  police  |  eff  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.