THE statement by police that the shooting of 34 miners in Marikana on August 16 was an act of self-defence should be rejected, the Marikana commission of inquiry heard on Tuesday morning.
Adv Dali Mpofu, who represents 272 striking workers who were arrested and charged with the murder of the 34 fellow strikers, said the separation of scenes where the striking workers were killed was important.
Police shot dead 16 people at the "groot koppie", where miners charged at the police, while 18 others were shot 800m away in what is referred to as the "klein koppie".
"In the course of the bail application, we discovered to our amazement that only 16 of the 34 people were killed on the scene that was shown on television and that the other 18 were killed at klein koppie," Mr Mpofu said.
He said even at the first scene, where 16 people were killed, there was no question of self-defence.
"If what happened at groot koppie was murder, what happened at small koppie (were) extrajudicial killings. The geography of the scene and location of dead bodies made it clear that people had run away from first scene and run 800m away," Mr Mpofu said.
Mr Mpofu disputed suggestions by the police that striking workers had used muti which had made them feel invincible and invisible.
"I really had hoped that the deliberations would not degenerate to that level. If they believed in muti, why did they run away? These suggestions are racist, backwards and ridiculous.
"Any suggestion of self-defence (by police), particularly on scene two, must be rejected with the contempt it deserves."
Mr Mpofu said the act of shooting was an act of revenge.
"This is supported by statements. The demeanour and behaviour of policemen showed they were motivated by malice. Evidence of one of our witnesses is that when they were being shot at one of the policemen said: ‘You people have killed policemen and have killed innocent people.’"
Mr Mpofu said the kicking of dead bodies went far beyond self-defence.
"Police went there with nothing but a murderous intent."
Mr Mpofu said that at the heart of this massacre was a toxic collusion between police and Lonmin.
He said there was e-mail correspondence between mine management and the minister of minerals and energy in which Lonmin shareholder Cyril Ramaphosa said that what was taking place "were plainly dastardly criminal acts" that had to be dealt with.
Sapa reported the family members of the mineworkers shot dead in August were moved to a private room at the Rustenburg Civic Centre to view the video footage of the event.
Counselling services would be available to them in the room, said retired judge Ian Farlam, who is chairing a three-member commission of inquiry into the shooting.
On Tuesday morning when video footage of the shooting was shown to the Farlam Commission, proceedings came to a halt when numerous women began wailing, and some fell to the floor. They had to be treated by emergency services workers.
The footage, from various news cameras, showed the protesting miners waving weapons and the shooting itself.
After a break, footage was shown of the North West police commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo, addressing journalists before the shooting.
In the video, Mbombo told reporters: "I do not want to explain to you what we will do if they (protesters) won't move (from the hill), but today we are ending this matter."
People in the public gallery were cautioned by the evidence leading team that the footage may upset sensitive viewers, as had happened earlier.
The video footage was supplied to the commission by broadcasters including eNews, the SABC, BBC and Al Jazeera.
National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega was in the public gallery, following the proceedings.
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