Nearly 300 live rounds fired at Marikana

2012-11-09 21:02

Rustenburg - Police officers fired 284 rounds of live ammunition on 16  August as they came under attack from protesting Lonmin mineworkers at Marikana, an official told the judicial commission of inquiry on Friday

ieutenant  Duncan Scott was narrating to the Farlam Commission the police’s version of events of the shooting on 16 August.

Police fired 533 non-lethal shots, while 284 live rounds were fired, said Scott.

Not all the bullets were fired directly at the charging protesters, as some had been fired as warning shots.

Scott said the bullets tally he gave on Friday might be less than the number of used cartridges collected by crime scene experts as they processed the scene, because some officers "were shooting while in Nyalas" (armoured vehicles).

Using a slide-show of photographs to accompany his narration, Scott said after police had returned fire with live ammunition at the first koppie (hill), the protesters retreated towards two nearby smaller koppies.

The withdrawing groups set fire to the veld to deter police from pursuing them, said Scott.

Police continued to follow the groups, with the objective of disarming and arresting them.

At the smaller koppies, Scott narrated a number of incidents where police shot protesters after being attacked. Photographs showed the dead miners lying next to weapons.

"A TRT [tactical response team] member shot and wounded an armed protester who charged at him from the bushes. Another protester was firing at police members and was shot," said Scott.

"NIU [national intervention unit] members fired at charging protesters and killed two. Members of the K9 unit were shot at by an armed protester who was moving between bushes," he said.

He explained that the NIU members also fatally shot a protester who attacked a police officer with a spear.

"In another incident, two protesters charged at police, shots were fired and one fell to the ground; the other one, in a red jacket, ran back to the group of protester[s] in the bushes," he said.

"The same attacker [in a red jacket] later charged at police. Officers fired and he fell to the ground. He was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds," said Scott.

Retired judge Ian Farlam, chairman of the three member commission, postponed the hearings to Wednesday.

The commission will continue with the police’s version when the hearings resume at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on Wednesday.

  • ontlhabanetsesteve.baepile - 2012-11-09 21:19

    Now the the police are guilty of shooting this pondos.

      stewart.laidlaw.5 - 2012-11-09 21:39


      goeie.jaarling - 2012-11-09 22:31

      ...and after all the investigations, the muti sniffing cave dwellers will still be dead, the cops will still be untrained and corrupt, the miners will still think they are underpaid, etc. but at least everyone talked about the issue....typical African behavior where you talk and talk to try and understand the obvious and then do nothing.

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-11-09 21:38

    Thank God they can never aim straight, imagine how many people could have died if they could shoot straight.

  • simon.selahla - 2012-11-09 21:43

    And how many Pangas, knopkieries and machetes found on the scene?

  • george.pito - 2012-11-09 21:53

    At last Scott knows what happened. This is really not much live rounds from automatic rifles. Clearly there was no intention to just kill. Good for Scott it seems that we have somebody to take this case with facts and not waisting anymore money with Bizzos etc

  • asdhasgd - 2012-11-09 22:22

    So now if these dumb chops charge at police with pangas and weapons and police fire and they drop like flies the police will be in the wrong again neh?

  • hendrik.breed - 2012-11-09 22:52

    Lousy shots. Where did they get training?

  • hendrik.breed - 2012-11-09 22:57

    Prior to the "massacre": 2 Policemen hacked to death, 2 Security guards hacked to death, 8 other persons killed in horrendous ways. Where is the public outcry for them????

  • Tony-Lapson - 2012-11-09 23:10

    300 rounds from 300 policemen? That seems pretty controlled, seeing that some had automatic rifles.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-10 04:13

    Not nearly enough shots fired...

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-10 04:15

    Think that was the plan... Lonmin wouldn't have had any miners left if they shot directly into the crowd...

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