On October 21, filmmaker activist Rehad Desai released previously unseen footage that appears to further implicate the police in the massacre of 34 miners at Lonmin’s Marikana mine on August 16 2012.
The footage, from Video Two, shows miners peacefully leaving the “big koppie” where they had been congregating everyday during the strike for a wage of R12 500 and heading towards the Wonderkop informal settlement nearby. The camera then follows several armoured police vehicles moving rapidly to cut off the miners’ access to the informal settlement.
The police’s flanking movement appears to force miners in the direction of a phalanx of Tactical Response Team officers who, from Video One, appear to have drawn their pistols well before the miners appear in the vicinity – which is a contravention of police Standing Order 262.
From this new “fourth camera angle” police are captured firing what appears to be birdshot at the miners, forcing them further towards the TRT officers. Then, a volley of gunfire is unleashed on the crouching miners.
The release of this footage was followed by Matthew Chaskalson SC, an evidence leader at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, on Wednesday, submitting a transcript of a chilling conversation between North West Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo and Lonmin executive vice president of human relations and external affairs, Barnard Mokoena on August 15 2012.
The transcript lays bare the unholy nexus of political influence, private interest and big business and the apparent resultant manipulation of state security apparatus that appears to foreshadow the massacre on August 16: raising questions about whose interests the police were protecting through their presence at Marikana. It also raises further questions about the role of ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa – Lonmin’s Black Economic Empowerment majority shareholder – in the events at Marikana as Mbombo tells Mokoena that both National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega and police minister Nathi Mthethwa had reported pressure from him to resolve the ongoing strike at Marikana.
The transcript, footage and recent testimony that police had ordered four mortuary vans on the morning of August 16 raises the question of premeditation on the part of the police and their actions on August 16. What do you think? View the videos, read the transcript and let us know: