The police may be in possession of undisclosed video footage of the Marikana massacre. Major General Charl Annandale was in charge of directing tactical operations during the Marikana protests in August last year. He told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that it is likely that the police have other files on their cellphones that may provide more clues as to what exactly happened on the day 34 strikers were shot and killed by police.
On Thursday, News24 reported that Major General Annandale made this statement at the Rustenburg Civic Centre where the commission gathered. He revealed that the officers who were present during the strike had been requested to submit any information that may be helpful to the investigation. In particular, the officers had been asked to provide any cellphone footage of the strike action.
Major General Annandale confirmed that there was no legal obligation for officers to collect images and videos on their personal cellphones. He explained: “There’s no protocol for officers to use their own private cellphones and cameras, as professional people are appointed for such.” The professional people that he was referring to include police videographers whose assignment it was to collect visual information throughout the strike.
Speaking for the South African Human Rights Commission, Nokukhanya Jele said that the police officers had been asked to also hand in their pocket-books. Pocket-books are like a diary that details the working day of a police officer. It includes information such as where the officer was stationed on each shift, which vehicle the officer drove and the weaponry that the officer uses on any given day. Pocket-books from about 500 officers were eventually received a few months later.
The Farlam Commission of Inquiry aims to find out what led to the deaths of 44 people in the area surrounding the Lonmin platimun mine. In the week leading up the morning that 34 people were shot by police, 10 had already died in the preceding violence.