Shocking new footage of the Marikana massacre in South Africa backs the miners’ version of events against police claims. Police shot 112 miners—killing 34—during a strike at Lonmin’s platinum mine last August.
Channel 4 News showed video taken by police officers on their mobile phones during the massacre last August.
One officer films along the barrel of his pistol as other officers force miners to crawl through scrubland.
In another clip one officer can be heard shouting, “Don’t shoot him!” But gunshots ring out and the phone soon films a miner’s bloody corpse.
One officer boasts “That motherfucker. I shot him at least ten times.”
Most of the 34 striking miners died when police opened fire in the rocks that became known as the “killing koppie” away from news cameras. Police have always maintained that they were shooting in self defence.
Socialist Worker was first to reveal the truth about what happened.
Peter Alexander and a team of researchers from Johannesburg university interviewed survivors and challenged the police story immediately after the massacre.
The footage shows police on rocks looking down on the killing koppie, and wounded and dead miners lying on the ground.
More than 3,000 had walked out to demand a wage increase and were angry that their National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was not looking after their interests.
Many left and joined the more militant AMCU union.
The miners had camped on a rock which they called “the mountain” near the mine. They were still there when police opened fire.
Families of the dead say the police have destroyed other incriminating video footage.
Miners have been intimidated and assaulted to stop them giving testimony about police behaviour to the commission into the killings.
The commission will hear testimony about the new video in the future. It is currently hearing from representatives from the NUM.
Jim Nichol represents the miners at the commission. He told Socialist Worker about recent testimony from Erick Gcilitshana, chief negotiator for the NUM at the Lonmin mine.
Gcilitshana accepted that the union was not representing them in the inquiry. He was asked if the union did anything for injured miners.
“I will say no, and will qualify,” Gcilitshana replied. He said that normally miners would ask for help from the union, but since none of them had he had not acted.
The inquiry continues.
Peter Alexander and his team have produced a book reporting the events of the massacre in detail.
Marikana—a View From the Mountain and a Case to Answer is published by Bookmarks priced £7.99.
Go to bookmarksbookshop.co.uk