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Cop testifies about weapons at Marikana

By Sapa | Nov 15, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A total of 57 shotgun and 31 pistol cartridge cases were found at a Marikana hilltop where 16 striking miners were killed in August, a police officer testified today

Warrant Officer Patric Thibelo Thamae was testifying in Rustenburg, before the Farlam commission of inquiry into the killing of 34 miners on August 16.

They were shot dead when police tried to disperse striking workers near the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, North West.

Some of them were found dead at Wonderkop, a hilltop near the mine where strikers used to gather before the shooting.

The commission heard earlier that the striking workers were in possession of at least one police pistol.

Thamae said a total of 210 rifle bullet cases were recovered at the scene.

He also found a pile of traditional weapons, including knobkerries and pangas, which he arranged neatly and photographed.

Ishmael Semenya, for the SA Police Service, said he had received information that 522 rubber bullets were discharged in the area.

Thamae said he had no comment on this.

Semenya said police’s information showed that only one stun grenade was fired, but Thamae testified that he found two such cartridges.

Thamae said he also found four 40mm cartridges, but he had “no idea” what weapon could have fired them.

Semenya said 10 teargas cartridges were discharged, and Thamae said it was possible that this was where the 40mm cases came from.

“If it is that 40mm [cartridges], I only picked up four,” Thamae said.

He said “it never came to my mind” to ask the distance between the shot protesters and the police firing line.

The commission heard previously that the police had shot in self-defence.

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