South Africa: Police Tied Hands of Marikana Wounded

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has heard that the police should have handled the negotiations with striking mineworkers in a different way so as ... ( Resource: Police Handling of Marikana under spotlight

Rustenburg — Police tied the hands of some wounded protesters after the shooting that left 34 miners dead near Marikana, North West, on August 16, a senior officer said on Wednesday.

Lt-Col Duncan Scott told the Farlam commission of inquiry into the events that this was done to secure one of the crime scenes.

Police either handcuffed or cable-tied the hands of the wounded who were lying near dangerous weapons, in order to make the scene safe for medical personnel, he said.

Scott was narrating a police presentation of events in the commission's public hearings in Rustenburg, North West.

He showed photographs of an apparently unconscious miner lying with his hands behind his back, with a firearm, panga and a large knife in close proximity.

Scott showed three video clips depicting what he described as "perceived rituals" conducted two days before the shooting.

A leader, wearing a green blanket around his shoulders, appeared to be sprinkling something on the rows of seated protesters while another man performed a dance.

Thousands of protesters were visible, sitting in a tight formation on the koppie.

"The inyanga (traditional herbalist) seems to have some kind of contraption tied to his right arm," Scott said.

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, asked whether the inyanga had been identified.

Scott said he was not at liberty to discuss this, except to confirm that an investigation had been launched.

In one of the video clips, the man in the green blanket shouts through a loudhailer, while another protester is seen urinating towards the police.

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