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20120816AMU/NEWS. Workers from Marikana Mine in Rustenburg during their Strike .PHOTO : ANTONIO MUCHAVE.

Insults at Marikana, Farlam tells miners to ‘cut the nonsense’

MINERS shouted obscenities at a woman wearing a red National Union of Mineworkers T-shirt when she joined the Farlam Commission of Inquiry’s inspection in loco in Marikana, North West, today.

: Hundreds of  Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members  during the   funeral of  the murdered  Amcu Lonmin branch secretary Bongani 'Bhayi' Mehlenkomo at Ngcwanguba village near Mqanduli on Saturday. Picture: LULAMILE FENI

Miners fear more deaths

Witness Mr X blamed for murder of Amcu leader. ASSOCIATION of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members fear for their lives after one of their leaders was murdered after he was named at the Farlam Commission by an anonymous police witness, Mr X.

PROTESTING miners at Marikana shot some of their colleagues in a clash with police in August last year, a senior police officer said yesterday.
Wounds suffered by some of the dead mineworkers came from firearms seized by protesters from Lonmin mine security guards, Brigadier Adriaan Calitz said in Centurion.
He was testifying before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West.
Thirty-four people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead on August 16 2012, and 78 were wounded when police fired on them while trying to disperse and disarm a group which had gathered on a hill near Lonmin’s mining operations.
In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policeman and two security guards, were killed near the mine.
President Jacob Zuma appointed in August last year.
Yesterday, the commission’s head of evidence leaders Geoff Budlender SC, questioned Calitz on the use of firearms and ammunition by the police officers and the protesters.
“How did it happen that some of the strikers were shot with shotgun pellets on August 16. Is it possible that some police service members had shotgun pellets, which they brought to Marikana?” Budlender asked.
He said there was a standing police order prohibiting the use of pellets in their shotguns in crowd management interventions, to avoid serious injury.
Calitz said the individuals who killed and stole firearms from Lonmin security personnel on August 12, fired shots and killed some of the mineworkers during the clash on August 16.
“If I could give my opinion, the security personnel had their arms and ammunition [pellets] taken away.
“The impression we have is that the group that took those weapons [later] used them on August 16,” he said.
Budlender asked: “You say that the strikers who were shot and killed with shotgun pellets on the 16th, were killed by their own people?” Calitz responded: “Correct.” The senior policeman said he did not have evidence to support his hypothesis. However, he said he knew that Lonmin security, including those killed on August 12, had used pellets in their firearms.
Budlender said the issue of the ammunition fired at the wounded and dead protesters was a mystery.
Post-mortem results indicated six of the mineworkers sustained injuries from shotgun pellets. Two of them died.
Calitz was one of the police commanders assigned to the operation during the labour unrest at Marikana last year.
He said the police had been threatened and told six times in the hours before the shooting, to leave the Marikana koppie (hill), where the strikers had gathered.
Earlier, Ishmael Semenya, for the police, asked Calitz whether police were sure that methods like verbal orders, use of stun grenades, water cannon, rubber bullets, and the display of force would disperse the crowd. Calitz said: “These methods always work. “People [protesters] take the easiest way out to avoid being shot or arrested.”
He rubbished claims that the mineworkers “misunderstood” the purpose of barbed wired, which led to the chaotic confrontation.
“It [the confrontation] was a deliberate by protesters,” said Calitz. — Sapa

Some miners were ‘shot by their own colleagues’

PROTESTING miners at Marikana shot some of their colleagues in a clash with police in August last year, a senior police officer said yesterday.

Bereaved familiy members  cried as the names of the 28 mine workers were called during  the mass memorao,service in Mthatha yesterday. Picture:LULAMILE FENI

Video horror for family

THE family of slain Marikana miner Thobile Mpumza saw in a video clip this week how police bragged as they shot him 10 times.

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