Marikana miners spared nobody - police

2012-11-08 17:17

Rustenburg - Armed, protesting Lonmin miners were dangerous and did not spare anything in their way, the Farlam commission of inquiry heard on Thursday.

This was the evidence of police Lieutenant Colonel Victor Visser, who gave an account of the violence and murder committed, allegedly by protesters in Marikana, North West, in August.

Visser showed the commission photos of the body of a mine supervisor who had been hacked to death.

"Not the police, and certainly not their co-workers, were spared by these protesters. The body of the supervisor had been hacked several times and a [cattle] skull was placed on his chest.

"There were several other animal skulls lying around in the veld. Whether the skull had any significance or not is not for us [to judge]."

The commission is investigating the deaths of 34 miners shot in a confrontation with the police near Lonmin's mine in Marikana on 16 August. Ten other people were killed during protests the preceding week.

Visser told the three-member commission that as of 14 August, the death toll had risen to 10. Sixteen people were wounded.

"The deceased people included mine employees, security and police officers."

On 15 August around 03:00, Visser said there was an ATM bombing at a supermarket in Wonderkop, Rustenburg.

"At that scene, a police round [bullet] was found. It was linked to the R-5 rifle which had been stolen from police officers killed on 13 August."

Explosives had been used to gut the ATM, he said. Police reinforcements were rallied and 746 officers were sent to the Marikana region around 6am on 15 August.

Earlier, the commission heard that naked protesters had queued to be sprinkled with muti (traditional medicine) in rituals purported to make them invincible.

"At 15:23 [on 14 August] it was reported that the protesters had imported an inyanga [herbalist] or sangoma [traditional healer] to perform rituals that would ensure them victory in a confrontation with opponents," Visser said.

"The men gathered at the koppie [hill], carrying pangas, spears, and knobkerries, and believed the inyanga would sprinkle them with muti to make them brave."

Aerial photographs of two queues of naked men were shown to the commission.

"These rituals were observed by members of the police who were in a chopper. The bodies were wiped down [and sprinkled] with a substance."

A large contingent of police vehicles headed to the hill as part of a six-point plan, the aim of which was to disarm the protesters.

"Police got there when the ritual was ending. We managed to capture the last part of the ritual on video. As soon as the police arrived, the people started to get dressed. You can clearly see from the video a protester [kneeling down] urinating in the direction of the [arriving] police."

In the video, a man in a red shirt stands in the middle of a group of protesters and sprinkles them with a liquid.

  • michael.bushes.9 - 2012-11-08 17:45

    "The men gathered at the koppie [hill], carrying pangas, spears, and knobkerries, and believed the inyanga would sprinkle them with muti to make them brave." Its quite obvious that many South Africans are still at least 500 years behind Capetonians mentally, socially and culturally. All these types of news article doesnt have to affect you, not locally , nor internationally. People in foreign countries dont have to view you living side by side with lions. All you need to do is vote the Cape Province into independence to be free from all of this chaos. Its a serious choice you have to make for your own future and for your children. Its your responsibility to vote correctly next time and put all of the above, behind you.

      wendy.craig.9655 - 2012-11-08 18:22

      Actually kensong.ben this is not so far fetched. As a fellow Capetonian seeing what is happening to the north seems so far removed from what we experience it could be another country. We are certainly not going to see our beautiful province dragged down by the rest of SA.

      LutherKingsley - 2012-11-08 20:12

      Holly, The WC is changing and starting to show signs of "the north". We're seeing more of this while more of the ANC drivel flock to the WC, we need to send a strong message that they are not welcome here... they destroy everything in their path, like a swarm of locusts.

      lorain.maseko - 2012-11-09 07:18

      @ michael.bushes.9 - Okay here's the thing, Capr town is a province within South Africa,that will never change,if you dont like that go back to where the slve masters found you, Malaysia.

  • luyanda.mzandolo - 2012-11-08 17:55

    This micheal guys is obsessed with the republic of cape ain't gonna happen brother.Dream on.We are building one country here.

      michael.bushes.9 - 2012-11-08 18:05

      "We are building one country here" Building? You mean South Africans are destroying the land while Capetonians practice responsible and healthy voting patterns? Hmmm

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-11-08 18:23

      Vote again for independant Western Cape. Up Yes Down No

      CeRvAnTeS - 2012-11-09 09:14

      Republic of Cape Town will shoot to first world status quick quick without the cANCer government to hold progress back and steal where ever there is a chance..

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-11-08 18:13

    Lyanda, the ANC is destroying what is left after 18years of rule and not building a nation. Sad but true. Zuma should be jailed for is inaction!

  • Strikeback - 2012-11-08 18:14

    The sad thing about this story is that the people responsible for these violent and unforgiving acts are still employed by the company. Is this fair? We think they should be removed from the working class.

      thembapat.mthini - 2012-11-08 19:18

      That Is soo true.

  • fanuel.maphutha.1 - 2012-11-08 18:44

    POLICE FORCE make sure that u shoot to kill those who perform rituals because they will hacked u to death

  • johannes.ramara - 2012-11-08 19:04

    I think this sangoma should also be dragged before the commission . His steretypic believe let to manslaughter. His believes let to the lost of lives.

  • Fundukululukunjakunne Why Cano - 2012-11-08 19:59

    what do these rituals have to do with the killing or use of live ammunition as opposed to rubber bullets by a force that has bullet proofs and bullet proof shields? i mean if these people felt they needed to have rituals that was their choice if they killed that is called homicide the force shall make sure they are secured to face the wrath of the law. However i do see this a rationale for the force to act the way they acted and they should take responsibility because they took the law into their own hands and executed 34 people in a situation where viable alternatives were available.

      patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-11-08 20:19

      to be killed also their choice. Where is the muti man and the rabbit????

      ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-11-09 03:49

      they were carrying weapons and ran at the police. and they had already demonstrated their intent by killing two policemen. get a life Fundu

  • Andile Zide - 2012-11-08 22:23

    people lets see the both sides, ja they did went to the sangoma believing that they will be protected, what was their aim? , a reasonable person should have foreseen the circumstance, and on the otherside the police who are also south africans, do know about this sangoma thing, as soon they believe that the protesters were busy with the ritual, their aim was to protect them, fortunately its happened to be serious coz miners were dangerous, they acted upon.

      dumisani.makhaye.1 - 2012-11-09 11:00

      "... ja they went to the sangoma believing that they will be protected ..." From what and who? is there any need for people to carry dangerous weapons when they are protesting? If none of the miners were armed, had not brutally murdered other people, do you think that there was gonna be such loss of life?

  • keigan.hart - 2012-11-09 09:13

    After all this evidence has been brough forward as aggravating factors, how can anyone logically argue that the police were not justified in using deadly force in private defence.

  • flysouth - 2012-11-09 09:44

    Glad to hear some truth coming to the fore at this biased enquiry which began on the presise that the SAPS were guilt of - eveything! But what can be expected when the likes of Bizos are running things? Fact is that these strikers were looking for battle - they found it - they lost. Nothing more to say.

      flysouth - 2012-11-09 09:46

      presise = premise guilt = guilty

  • sipho.shabalala.796 - 2012-11-09 18:55

    This commission is a bloody waste of the tax payers' money. No country on earth can tolerate lawlessnes. Worse when a mob thinks they have an upper hand over the law enforcement agencies.

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