News24

No cartridge cases near Marikana bodies

2012-10-31 14:56

Rustenburg - No cartridge cases were found in the vicinity of nine of the bodies found at a small hill at Wonderkop, in Marikana, the Farlam Commission heard on Wednesday.

Crime scene expert Captain Apollo Mohlaki was testifying before the Farlam Commission into the killing of 34 mineworkers and wounding of 78 by police, who opened fire while trying to disperse a group of strikers on August 16.

Mohlaki was telling the commission, sitting at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, about "scene 2", near a small hill where 13 people were killed.

Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga asked him whether any traditional weapons were found between nine of the bodies on the hill, which were identified on a map of the scene by letters.

Mohlaki said: "Yes." Farlam asked him how many weapons. "I didn't count them individually, because they were just lying around," he said.

Pistol found among bodies


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

Mohlaki also told the commission where some of the bodies were found.

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

"Body D [Mangcotya], 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.

Bodies of miners not shown

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.

Earlier, he told the commission that 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.

Madlanga told the commission that although Mohlaki had photos of the dead miners, they would not be shown.

Farlam agreed, and said some in the public gallery might find this stressful.

Cartridges found

However, the photographs were shown while Mohlaki was taken back through his slides. Madlanga apologised.

Photographs of traditional weapons collected at the scene and police nyalas with bullet-marks were also shown.

Mohlaki said a number of cartridge cases were found, some in clusters, during the processing of the scene at the small hill.

These included a rifle cartridge, rifle cartridge cases, 9mm cartridge cases, a bullet fragment and shotgun cartridge cases.

Mohlaki completed his evidence-in-chief and was being cross-examined by human rights advocate George Bizos on Wednesday afternoon.

Comments
  • lungelo.yili - 2012-10-31 15:07

    so these people can't even log evidence correctly?

      yossarian.crake - 2012-10-31 15:51

      "Crime scene expert Captain Apollo Mohlaki"....really would not call his answer expert. I am not expected then CSI kinda stuff...but surely you know if a can was recently fired, or how many "tradional" weapons are present. THese are all critical to the case

      coenie.basson.9 - 2012-10-31 16:49

      denis.dendrinos - 2012-10-31 16:50

      no they cannot lungelo - that is why we have a pathetic conviction rate in the country and criminals do as they like.

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-10-31 23:03

      I'm confused, the title of this article says "No cartridge cases near Marikana bodies", yet the story claims "Mohlaki said 9mm cartridge cases were found near the body of Makhosandile Mkhonjwa." And "Mohlaki said a number of cartridge cases were found, some in clusters, during the processing of the scene at the small hill. These included a rifle cartridge, rifle cartridge cases, 9mm cartridge cases, a bullet fragment and shotgun cartridge cases." so were there cartridges or not?

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-31 15:12

    According to reporting when Zuma went to talk to the striking miners they were shaking empty cartridges around in plastic bags so they crime scene was definitely compromised!!!

      merven.halo - 2012-10-31 15:20

      What crime scene? The only two crime scenes are where the security guards and police men were killed.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-31 16:14

      Pangas, rocks, machetes, sticks, knobkerries and knives dont leave cartridges behind...

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-31 15:12

    According to reporting when Zuma went to talk to the striking miners they were shaking empty cartridges around in plastic bags so the crime scene was definitely compromised!!!

  • ditantane.kganakga - 2012-10-31 15:15

    cops are in deep s***

  • customdesign - 2012-10-31 15:15

    "Mohlaki said 9mm cartridge cases were found near the body of Makhosandile Mkhonjwa" - this contradicts the title of this article, so were there or not?

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-10-31 15:16

    Cold blooded murder by the so called peoples government.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-10-31 15:34

    When i said that at the start of this mess people were busy shouting "self defence, self defence" now that it is becoming clear that cops had ulterior motives all of a sudden comments are shrinking - i think we need to be careful on what we say it doesnt mean that if it doesnt affect me directly i must be vocal in a negative way because one day it might be you - cops are out on the rampage and the commissioner is giving them ammunition.We need to reject this in the most possible way Zuma and his government have ran this country to the ground

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-01 13:06

      So you saying the cops shot their own Nyala's?

  • JManAtheoi - 2012-10-31 15:34

    "Crime scene expert Captain Apollo Mohlaki was testifying...{...}..." ....asked him how many weapons. "I didn't count them..... ....He could not say whether the pistol had been fired..... Is the testimony of an "Expert"?

      goyougoodthing - 2012-10-31 15:43

      in SA yes.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-31 16:20

      Amazing, hey!?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-01 13:07

      He is a crime scene investigator, the determination of a firearm being fired is the duty of a forensic investigator. This is not CSI. HIs duty is to map the crime.

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-10-31 15:35

    must be a third force. this will be the conclusion of the expensive commission of enquiry.

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-10-31 16:32

    First of all only pistols eject shell casings, if there had been revolvers used to shoot at the police these casings would not have been found on or near the dead bodies, Secondly it would not be the first time in SA history where the shooter is shot and killed and his buddy picks up said weapon and disappears with it.

  • J.J. - 2012-10-31 16:38

    if this guy is a crime scene expert why is there so many basic questions that he "doesn't" know the answer to??? get someone who can!!

  • zionpercival.pay - 2012-11-01 06:47

    In some forces viz the police force and military forces it is standard practice to collect the cartridge cases as proof of their activities and as a simple house keeping operation. Or were they supposed to collect the cases while being attacked with pangas and bits of sharpened steel. I thin our forensic expert must go back to school.

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