South Africa: Police Held Briefing Before Shooting

Rustenburg — Senior police officers met to discuss their operations on the day 34 miners were killed in Marikana, the Farlam Commission heard on Wednesday.

"The briefing was about the duties of the day," crime scene expert Captain Apollo Mohlaki told the commission, sitting in Rustenburg.

They were told to be on standby so they could photograph traditional weapons at a hill near the Nkaneng informal settlement, near Wonderkop.

"We were told there was an agreement that people will leave their weapons at a hill," he said.

Under cross-examination by advocate George Bizos SC, representing the families of mineworkers killed by police on August 16, Mohlaki said the officers were not told there might be violence.

"Did you hear that the business of people gathering on a hill will be ended today? [August 16]," Bizos asked.

"Not at all," he responded.

Mohlaki said he was called to the scene around 4pm. On arrival he saw police, paramedics, and dead bodies.

"Did you ask what happened?" Bizos asked him.

He said he did not. Instead, he asked the whereabouts of a senior police officer named Naidoo, whom he found about 500 metres away. He said Naidoo told him there was a crime scene and that he (Mohlaki) knew what to do.

He then asked a Constable Molefe to take videos of the scene while he started collecting evidence.

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