Marikana shooting not on police video

2012-10-29 21:04

Rustenburg - The bulk of a police video taken on the day of the shooting of mineworkers in Marikana was devoted to areas away from the scene, the Farlam Commission heard on Monday.

"You knew people were on the koppie [hill]?," Dali Mpofu, acting for 78 miners wounded in the shooting, asked a crime scene expert.

"And you knew people were not at the mine's [Lonmin] operations. And you knew no one was at the mine hostels... you knew people were not in the open veld?"

Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Johannes Botha replied in the affirmative to all the questions.

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

Botha replied that when he arrived at the scene there was no one on the hill anymore.

"People were running in the veld," he said.

The hill was where Lonmin striking mineworkers had been gathering when police opened fire on them, killing 34 and wounding 78 on 16 August.

Botha was being cross-examined after police video footage, which he had taken from a helicopter, was screened at the inquiry. The footage ran for about 40 minutes.

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

Commission chair, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked Botha if the content of the video meant that he had not realised that the "action" would happen at the hill.

"If you did, you would have devoted more time [to the area]?" Botha said he was told he would be filming a dispersing and disarming operation.

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

Mpofu asked: "At whom or what was the target?"

Botha replied that it was an operation decision taken by the brigadier who was in the helicopter with him.

He said he was able to see people running, which was visible on the footage.

Mpofu asked Botha if from the helicopter he was able to see mineworkers hiding at the "small koppie".

Botha: "It is too high up".

Mpofu said if the helicopter was close enough to the ground to throw stun grenades then it must have been close enough to see people.

Botha said the helicopter was going up and down, varying the height at which it was flying.

"Stun grenades were being thrown at people so you were close enough to see them," said Mpofu.

Botha confirmed that there were people on the ground, and he had seen people running.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-10-29 22:01

    As per the norm and not acception anymore, as we become more and more de-sensitized, major cover up heading our way.. Ffs!

      paul.nefdt - 2012-10-30 18:17

      The real farce is that no one has called for the Minister of police to be charged for telling cops they have the right to shoot criminals, that is exactly where this whole problem started, shoot, no matter what the constitution says, your victim doesn't deserve a fair trial to determine if they are indeed guilty of something or innocent. I wish I was a journalist present on the day the MOP said that famous words, I would've asked him "just how does a criminal look"?? Because clearly, you leave such important decisions up to trigger happy,under paid,stressed out & improperly trained police officers.

  • george.pito - 2012-10-29 22:07

    Why aer they putting all the energy into the mr Botha. What the hell do they think this could do. It sounds like they think its like a rugby match to replay to see if it is try or not. Give me any reason why the miners can get shot. The judges are such old fossils and probably doze of in front of the tv thinking that how technology works. The choppers wer hanging in the air for the last two days taking video footage. What a waste of money this lawyers are making money asking such silly questions.

  • george.pito - 2012-10-29 22:17

    Judge Farlan looks like a Hollywood character. A mob is mob. Violence is violence. The video footage I suggest this judge get himself an expert to inform him what a facial id is. A camera is an instrument and if the judge wanna give it a try to stabilise focus and PTZ in a chooper go for it or try and get few points on angry birds rather. Lets see if we question him afterwards, he wont even remember what the first scene he tried looked like.

  • Fox Trixter - 2012-10-29 22:18

    Take them on, Mr Mpofu! expose those criminals! mxm, 'helicopter going up and down'....! bulls*it! where you blindfolded when throwing stun grenades?

      george.pito - 2012-10-29 22:21

      Fox you ever been in a chopper. Ever tried to look through a viewfinder of a camera and tried to watch a game at the same time. By the way stunn grenades how many were killed by it? I thought they were shot from the ground

  • Tello Moleko - 2012-10-29 22:20

    mzi to be murderer does not mean dead person must be from yo family,they started killing first,when they are dead police must blamed,if police decide not to act,u think u will not be victim of crime?

  • nat.kosie - 2012-10-29 22:40

    How convinient that Botha and Co arived late at the clearly shows that they are covering up their lack of competency coz that was a priority as the previous day gave them highlights of what lies ahead\mark ramphosa's coments\ he wil unfold, as he won't cover anyone, from minister to ordinary policeman...

      george.pito - 2012-10-29 23:01

      Nat kosie I have been through this. When were the scene suppose to happen did the mine workers give out a gannt chart to explain when they are goin to get violent with choppers in the air hovering to refuel in mid air for when somethin happens. In my army days some people took weeks to get violent one day they regrouped constantly at funerals. What you are saying the choopres should have been hanging in the air for days while thugs plan a weak moment to attack. Get some sense

  • george.pito - 2012-10-29 22:53

    Id like to take on this judge. We have somebody at the camera maybe Botha, Then somebody firing stunn grenades, somebody a brigadier (with what training) giving orders and a pilot. We also have another chopper maybe with the same setup. Who is in command? What is parralax judge ask youre grandson in grade 4. What timeline do we have measured and synchronised. This old toppies are only making nice pension bucks. Light conditions, speed of the chopper, field of view, ptz speed, frames per second, zoom settings, which has absolutely nothing to do with the killings or the evidence. Filming an operation with a mob running everywhere you have a few axis including the chopper and a pilot so whatever in your field of view gets recorded. Reminds me of the add "Hou op Kyk die Wildebees"

  • Michael - 2012-10-30 05:52

    Dali Mpofu has got an agenda, police were dealing with murderes that day, where would they find time to take video for Dali Mpofu?

  • cosmic.tone.3 - 2012-10-30 10:50

    Why are we wasting money and time on this? They were breaking the law, they slaughtered and mutilated security guards and police men, even firing at the police as in the one video. More law abiding people have been murdered since then, why not make a fuss about that rather?

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