News: SEPTEMBER 2013

10 September 2013

Advocate Mathew Chaskalson from the Commission’s evidence leaders continued to cross examine Colonel Duncan Scott from the South African Police Service.

The witness told the Commission that from stage 2 to stage 3, tactical forces have to effect arrests and that from the air, Brig Fritz was not supposed to give commands to those on the ground, but he was supposed to be the eye in the sky. Adv. Chaskalson said that a stun grenade was thrown from a helicopter in area where there were no officers on the ground to effect arrests. Colonel Scott agreed that Brigadier Fritz needed to explain this matter to the Commission.
Col Scott also agreed that he was responsible for the sequencing of photos and video materials. It was put to Col Scott that he had erred when sequencing the videos, particularly those of Mr Mathunjwa addressing the striking workers on 16/08/2012. Scott agreed that this prejudiced Mr Mathunjwa. “I agree that the time sequencing on the videos I compiled is wrong,” admitted the Colonel.

Adv. Chaskalson said that the sequencing of the videos on Camera B is different to that of exhibit L. The witness said he accepts that someone may have deliberately deleted some video or photo materials that were brought to him.

When asked if there was any distinction between the striking workers and Amcu members, Col Scott said there wasn’t and that during the Marikana operation all the striking workers were referred to as Amcu members. This, he said, is because Mr Mathunjwa was the one who is recorded to have addressed the striking workers in most of the police’s plans during the Marikana operation. In one of the police documents, Amcu is reported to be responsible for the deaths of the two Lonmin security officers. Colonel Scott said that this was meant to give the striking workers a name and that information from Lonmin was that Amcu was responsible for the strike and the violent clashes in Marikana.

Advocate Chaskalson said that some of the police slides don’t distinguish between Amcu and the striking workers. Col Scott said the police did not have any feeling of hostility or retaliation against Amcu.

09 September 2013

Advocate Mathew Chaskalson SC, commenced with cross-examining Colonel Duncan Scott from the SAPS.
Colonel Scott agreed that he was the only repository of all SAPS video materials and he mentioned that he did not delete any of the photographic or video materials which were given to him. Col. Scott also testified that there was a risk that violence would eventuate on 16/08/2012 during the Marikana operation. “It would have been possible for a Nyala driver to film the incidents of the 16th but this did not happen because the Nyala drivers were told to retreat their nyala’s; this is the limited information I can offer at this stage,” said the Colonel.

Colonel Scott said that it would take days and maybe weeks to examine all of the video materials he received. “After I received the video materials, I did not know until it was put to me by the evidence leaders, that there were gaps and videos missing from the sequence and numbering. I did not think to check the videos I received whether they were numerically sequenced, then” he continued.

When further asked about the videos, Colonel Scott said that he received a batch of videos from Captain Nel, which included one of an airborne helicopter which was operated by Brigadier Fritz. Col. Scott agreed with Adv. Chaskalson that there were videos missing and he said that he did not notice this when he initially received Captain Nel’s batch of videos.

Advocate Chaskalson put it to the witness that footage of scene 2 is rare. “When I received the scene 2 video, I did not think of probing it further to check if there were any additional material in relation to scene 2; because we were busy with a lot of things. It never crossed my mind to check,” he said.
He again said that the first time he noticed that there were materials missing from Captain Nel’s videos was when the evidence leaders had pointed this out to him.