Family members distraught over Marikana footage
Proceedings came to a halt as a number of women wailed and fell to the floor
Family members of miners shot and killed at the Lonmin Platinum mine collapsed and broke into loud sobs as video footage of the shooting was shown to the judicial commission of inquiry on Tuesday.
Proceedings came to a halt as a number of women wailed and fell to the floor.
A woman started screaming and shouting as another two tried to console her.
Many had to be carried out as their emotions took over.
Commission chair retired judge Ian Farlam apologised to the families, saying he had not realised that particular footage was of the shooting.
The police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng, killing 34 mineworkers and wounding 78 on August 16.
The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.
Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12,500.
Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.
Three video clips supplied by eNews were shown to the commission.
The first two videos were from August 16 about an hour before the shooting.
This was to give the commission context to what happened before the shooting.
The third video showed the miners on the hill and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa on his knees, pleading with them to leave.
The footage then showed the moment police opened fire.
Straight afterwards the auditorium at the Rustenburg Civic Centre fell silent.
The silence was then broken by distraught family members reacting to the footage they had just seen.
- Meanwhile, the families of two mine security guards killed in the violence leading to the mass shootings on August 16 at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana were in distress, a lawyer told the judicial commission of inquiry on Tuesday in Rustenburg.
Tshepiso Rampile, for the families, appealed to the commission led by retired judge Ian Farlam to consider the plight of the families.
“The whole future of these two security guards’ families has changed direction and will never again take the same direction. The extent of the hurt and devastation I saw in the families’ members really needs attention,” said Rampile.
“These families do not have means and are unable to consult in the manner they would want to. If there is a possibility that an interim recommendation for these families can be made, that will be in order,” he said.
At that stage Farlam, chairman of the three member commission instructed the lawyer to contact the evidence leading team and facilitate contact with the families.
Rampile said the two guards, Frans Mabelane and Hassan Fundi, were off-duty on August 12 and were instructed to go back to work to provide reinforcements to contain the volatile protests.
“They were called to come and give back because of the strike,” said Rampile.
He said the families, in seeking justice for their slain breadwinners, would want the commission to establish whether the security guards were, among other things, adequately trained and equipped to deal with the dangerous situation.