Police were not under attack at Marikana - Marikana Solidarity Campaign

Rehad Desai says new video footage shows mineworkers peacefully leaving the koppie


The justification given by SAPS, that they opened fire on mineworkers at the first killing scene on 16th August 2012 because they were under attack, has been blown out of the water.

This follows discovery of a SAPs hard drive containing documents that SAPS deliberately concealed from the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

This week new footage released by the Marikana Support Campaign showed mineworkers peacefully leaving the koppie on the 16th and attempting to make their way back to the informal settlement, Nkaneng. The footage shows police cocking their guns in readiness to shoot. The evidence shows the police were not under attack.

According to SAPS testimony, the miners attempted to charge the police line three times. In the process, the miners damaged a police vehicle with their weapons, denting and scratching it. Footage shown at the commission this week also revealed that this same nyala was already scratched and dented the day before.

That morning, four mortuary vans were ordered.  An affidavit from a mortuary worker states he was told by a policeman, " Today we're going to take the miners down." Each mortuary van takes up to eight bodies. That makes 32. Where did this order come from?

This decision was taken at a meeting of the National Police Council that took place the night before, attended by National Commissioner, Riah Phiyega,North West Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo Mbombo, and other provincial commissioners. Marikana was on the agenda and the term D-Day was used.

The term "D-Day" is first used  by Barnard Mokoena, Lonmin executive vice president of human relations and external affairs in a meeting with Zukiswa Mbombo on 14th August, two days before the massacre. The conversation reveals a meeting of minds between the government, Lonmin, and SAPS - that the strike must be ended by force if necessary. The chain of command stretches to the Minister of Police and Cyril Ramaphosa, a Lonmin shareholder and board member at the time. What emerges from the Lonmin transcription of this  conversation is the fear that the NUM is losing ground to AMCU, leaving space for others to gain influence and for the strike to spread to other mines. Temba Godi (APC) and Juius Malema are mentioned as is Malema's support for nationalization of mines.

It has also been revealed that one of the miners, Mr. Yawa, who died at Scene One, was shot by a gun that is no longer issued by police. The rumor is that Protea Coin security guards, contracted to Lonmin, were sitting in one or two of the nyalas at the time of the shooting. Is it possible that a Lonmin security guard took part in the killing of miners alongside police?

Statement issued by Rehad Desai, Marikana Solidarity Campaign spokesperson, October 25 2013

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