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15th June 2024

Marikana Massacre ‘Damning’ Evidence Emerges

Marikana Massacre: ‘Damning’ Evidence Emerges New footage appears to suggest that South African police opened fire on striking miners – killing 34 – without provocation.The Marikana Miners Support group has called for South African police to be prosecuted after apparently unearthing new evidence which disputes the authorities’ version of what happened on the day more than 30 striking miners were shot dead by police. The evidence was uncovered by a film-maker – who is also a member of the campaign group – while he was doing research for a documentary on the incident at the Lonmin mine in August 2012. It appears to throw more doubt on the police claim that they acted in self-defence when they opened fire on striking miners. As well as the 34 miners killed, nearly 80 others were left wounded. The footage has been submitted to the Commission of Inquiry which is continuing into just what went wrong at Marikana. Film-maker Rehad Desai called it “damning” evidence which showed – in his opinion – that the police had not only engineered the situation which led to the miners being shot, but had then lied repeatedly to the South African public and the inquiry to cover up their actions. The footage is shot from what Mr Desai called a “fourth” angle that was mostly unseen and unexamined. It depicts a large group of the miners being led away from the hillock, or koppie as it is known in South Africa, where they had been demonstrating. They are filmed walking away slowly, apparently passively and quietly, as they are shepherded by their leaders towards the informal settlement where many of them lived. The footage, which is shown in the order which it was filmed and apparently has an embedded time code showing what time it was recorded, then shows increased activity among the police. They are seen moving armoured police vehicles to block the miners’ path and forming a barrier between them and the informal settlement. The miners are corralled down a relatively narrow path alongside police vehicles and in the direction of a waiting line of armed police. As they pass a row of police trucks, one policeman can be seen to the left of the picture shooting birdshot into the crowd of passing miners. Other police then follow suit. The miners, who are already cowering with some crouching over, then start to panic. One can be seen turning towards the police who are side-on to the crowd and firing his handgun directly at the police. There is some smoke seen which is thought to be tear gas. Miners start running away from the gas and the shooting coming at them from the side.