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Marikana: Shooting or Massacre? Scandals emerge at South Africa's Farlam Commission.

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posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 12:20 PM
A commission of inquiry has been running since the start of October 2012 on the "Marikana shooting", when police opened fire on alleged strikers at the Lonmin mine near Rustenburg, killing 34, and wounding 78 others.

What seemed at first like a justified police action against violent strikers on 16 August 2012 became increasingly murky, with tales of the forced arming of "strikers" with traditional weapons; the introduction of witchdoctors to assure "supernatural immunity" from police bullets; confusion between strikers from opposing unions and local community members, and the actual identity of those shot; different accounts of salaries leading to the strike, and the activities of local money lenders.
This lead to further pondering on former ANC union leaders now turned mining tycoons (like Cyril Ramaphosa, who seems to have encouraged the police action), and the political leverage drawn from the incident by socialist radicals like Julius Malema.

Mostly however, the continually emerging evidence points at police misconduct in collusion with some elements of the ANC-run state.

Some scandals so far that can be expanded on further in this thread include:
- the arrest by police of some witnesses coming to testify at the commission (it should be remembered that over 230 men were first imprisoned on a ridiculous apartheid-era law in unacceptable conditions, and they were only released after a local and international outcry)
- the laughing and joking by police representatives, as the wives and families of the shot men cried out in distress
- evidence that some of the shot men had been handcuffed when they were murdered
- the planting of evidence on the scene.

Anyway, I recall the original footage in August raising temperatures on some threads, and while we may never know the whole truth, I think it is timely to update some of the events and revelations.

Here is some more on the Farlam Commission:

Johannesburg - South Africa opens an inquiry on Monday into the police killing of at least 34 miners during one day of violence in August, hoping to uncover how a dispute over pay ended in a bloodbath.

The commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma, will begin proceedings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, just a stone's throw from the mine where police gunned down striking platinum workers on August 16.

The commission, led by former Supreme Court of Appeal judge Ian Gordon Farlam, has been asked to "investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana".

The police, miners, unions, government and the mine's owners all face tough questions about their conduct during the unrest.

Miners demanding a large pay increase began striking on August 10. The following weeks of violence a total of 46 people were killed including two police officers.

But it was graphic footage of events on August 16 that shocked the world, raising parallels to brutality under the white apartheid regime, and has been described as the worst police crackdown since democracy in 1994.

Under the current mandate, the commission has four months to complete its work and a further month to present its final report.

It will also send interim reports to Zuma once a month. The first report is due by October 1

Also see this site for more horror and scandals on Marikana:

edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 12:33 PM
The Farlam Commission almost ground to a halt last month when it was alleged that witnesses were arrested in order to silence them, and that transport and legal aid for the defending "strikers" and the families of the shot men had been cut:

Despite excuses from police, this once again raised the consistent suspicion that witnesses were silenced and something immensely illegal had been performed by certain factions of the state machinery.

The commission resumed after some assurances:
edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 12:46 PM
More recently - Photos suggest evidence had been planted on the scene.

Photos taken shortly after the massacre differed from those taken later in the evening.

Those taken earlier showed unarmed corpses, while those taken in the evening showed the sudden appearance of weapons like machetes and knives beside the bodies.

It furthermore emerged that 14 strikers were shot in the back.

It seems fairly obvious that police planted these weapons to create the impression that they were under siege from the corralled strikers.

Confronted with pretty damning evidence the police merely claimed they were already conducting their own investigation:

For a glaring before and after picture see:

edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 01:03 PM
National Police Commissioner's inappropriate behavior at Farlam Commission:

“This is not the first time Phiyega has shown utter disrespect for the families of those miners who were killed at Marikana,” DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said today in a statement.

“Shortly after the massacre, she commented at the funeral of one of the police officers killed at Marikana that the police should not feel sorry for their actions.”

The Times reported that Phiyega laughed and joked while footage of the killing of 34 miners in a clash with police was being screened at a commission hearing at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

Phiyega reportedly joked with a state law adviser while a prelude to the killings was being screened.

Surrounded by senior officers, Phiyega smiled as she watched.

It was only when screams of horror echoed across the room, as footage of the actual shooting was played without warning, that Phiyega’s “humorous demeanour changed to that of an ice queen, blatantly ignoring the wailing families”, according to the report.

I'm not sure how surprised South Africans are by this kind of cold-heartedness from the ANC, or at least certain factions within it.
What can one expect from a socialist/fascist movement that imprisoned it's own people in gulags like Quatro?
I hope the world continues to watch this case.

edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 01:35 PM
October, 23 - The Farlan Commission is adjourned due to an outpouring of grief from the relatives of the massacred men.

Although footage of the shooting had gone global since the event (including on ATS: for many of the poor and rural widows it was the first time they had seen it:

I think at the time the media in SA painted a picture of ubiquitously violent and criminal strikers, and a lot of responses thus cautiously supported the police version of events.
However, now a very different picture is emerging.
edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 04:34 PM
Although it appears that different police units were involved in the Marikana massacre at Lonmin, at least one of them already had a reputation for extreme brutality, and simply being "rogue" cops, or criminals in uniform.

The Tactical Response Team or "Amaberete" were formed in 2009 to combat serious crimes, but they became most infamous for raiding pubs and assaulting township residents.

Here is part 1 of E-TV's 3rd Degree investigation on the Amaberete, and how they are virtually untouchable.

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 05:13 PM
About a week after the Marikana massacre a memorial in Parliament descended into mudslinging, as the ANC ministers refused any responsibility until the end of the commission of inquiry.

I have a feeling that whatever the final outcome, none of them will resign or wallow in apologetic shame.

Fortunately this time the race card against the white South African minority refused to stick in any way (although some tried the usual rhetoric), since the Lonmin mine was linked to London and black elites.

The fiery ousted ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema (who was eventually ejected from the area), had some powerful words for President Zuma, the British, the minister of police and Cyril Ramaphosa:

edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 06:20 PM
A crime-scene video appears to oppose the offical version of events as self-defense by the police, instead showing cuffed strikers who were shot, and police joking and laughing at the scene.

National Police Commissioner Phiyega claimed a probe into allegations of planted traditional weapons beside some of the bodies is underway.

edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 06:57 PM
After the 16 August opinions were very strong on ATS about Marikana for a while, and some of the more radical posters from the US actually had what I would call a more "correct assessment" to mine in hindsight. (see p.1-3)

But the interest didn't last very long.
Perhaps that was predictable, although it's a pity, especially now that the dirty secrets are emerging.

Well, I did promise to follow up on the biggest massacre in SA since apartheid.
I'll continue to do so as things progress.

Luckily my trust in a then coming commission was not completely misplaced, and we still have South Africans who will ask questions, support a free press and demand human rights.

Was it right for some of the alleged miners to indulge in violence, and murder two cops and security guards before the 16th?
No, it was horrifically wrong, and in SA many are tired of this vigilante and thuggish behavior.
Hence, at first people and the press did have a bias towards the police narratives.
Those perpetrators who hacked people to death should be punished.

But it certainly wasn't right for the police to have a "turkey shoot" that killed 34 men.
Murder committed by a cop is still murder.

Finally, huge questions remain on who organized and instigated this all, because it was not a spontaneous event from any side.
edit on 6-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 01:02 PM
As of the 9th November, police began presenting their version of events.

Visser showed the commission photos of the body of a mine supervisor who had been hacked to death. "Not the police, and certainly not their co-workers, were spared by these protesters. The body of the supervisor had been hacked several times and a [cattle] skull was placed on his chest. "There were several other animal skulls lying around in the veld. Whether the skull had any significance or not is not for us [to judge]." The commission is investigating the deaths of 34 miners shot in a confrontation with the police near Lonmin's mine in Marikana on 16 August. Ten other people were killed during protests the preceding week. Visser told the three-member commission that as of 14 August, the death toll had risen to 10. Sixteen people were wounded. "The deceased people included mine employees, security and police officers." On 15 August around 03:00, Visser said there was an ATM bombing at a supermarket in Wonderkop, Rustenburg. "At that scene, a police round [bullet] was found. It was linked to the R-5 rifle which had been stolen from police officers killed on 13 August." Explosives had been used to gut the ATM, he said. Police reinforcements were rallied and 746 officers were sent to the Marikana region around 6am on 15 August. Earlier, the commission heard that naked protesters had queued to be sprinkled with muti (traditional medicine) in rituals purported to make them invincible. "At 15:23 [on 14 August] it was reported that the protesters had imported an inyanga [herbalist] or sangoma [traditional healer] to perform rituals that would ensure them victory in a confrontation with opponents," Visser said. "The men gathered at the koppie [hill], carrying pangas, spears, and knobkerries, and believed the inyanga would sprinkle them with muti to make them brave." Aerial photographs of two queues of naked men were shown to the commission. "These rituals were observed by members of the police who were in a chopper. The bodies were wiped down [and sprinkled] with a substance." A large contingent of police vehicles headed to the hill as part of a six-point plan, the aim of which was to disarm the protesters. "Police got there when the ritual was ending. We managed to capture the last part of the ritual on video. As soon as the police arrived, the people started to get dressed. You can clearly see from the video a protester [kneeling down] urinating in the direction of the [arriving] police." In the video, a man in a red shirt stands in the middle of a group of protesters and sprinkles them with a liquid. - SAPA

edit on 9-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 02:36 PM
I wonder sometimes whether it's still worth it making posts on SA, or maybe my post constructions are just very bad?

Well, it seems some group is intent on spreading revolution in SA, and although these trends may come and go, there's also the real possibility of losing the farmers and the mining industry forever.
edit on 9-11-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 08:26 AM
Well I supported the shooting as South Africans are tired of all the strikes crippling the economy.

This will surely lead to further socio-economic problems and eventually the collapse(Although, we've somehow managed to survive this long).

However, I never quite kept an eye on the investigation into it and this is all news to me.

I don't support the ANC but I also think these Unions are a lot to blame for what took place. I have to be honest I'm quite conflicted.

posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 04:49 PM
Material from the "Marikana Commission of Inquiry" that stretches over 6 hours is now available on Youtube.

However, because the Commission has now resumed and been extended into May 2013, doesn't mean much is being uncovered or explained.

The lack of forthcoming video footage from the police has led commission members to speculate that the police never took such footage, or destroyed it.

Well, duh.

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