THE family of slain Marikana miner Thobile Mpumza saw in a video clip this week how police bragged as they shot him 10 times.
It was a further blow to the family, who have also been paid far less than the R25000 promised towards the funeral.
Mpumza’s sister Xolelwa, who is attending the commission of inquiry in Rustenburg, said she couldn’t watch the harrowing video. She said from what she had gathered, police were rejoicing after they killed her brother.
“It was a painful experience. I am told police talked about how they shot him. This video revealed how gruesomely police shot him. I could not watch it,” she said.
She said the video was made available last year (at the commission) and this week some of the clips were shown in one of the commission’s sessions.
Xolelwa’s brother was one of thousands of miners protesting outside the mine on August 16 when police opened fire. At the time he had been laid off by the company after he took part in a strike in 2011.
This week, a foreign news channel flighted the video clip showing how police bragged about shooting at a miner hiding behind a “koppie” near the mine shaft.
A police officer can be heard calling on his colleagues to stop shooting. But a gunshot is heard. Another officer can be heard bragging he has shot the “mother f****r” 10 times.
Later , another officer is seen next to a corpse, believed to be Mpumza’s.
The commission yesterday said the officers who shot the video clip had not testified in front of the commission about the contents of the video.
Advocate Phuti Setati , secretary of the commission, said the cellphone video footage flighted was recorded on August16 .
“The footage was shown in the commission in November and it forms part of the exhibits that have been handed in to date.
“So, none of the police on the video have given testimony before the commission in connection to the video in question. It is premature to draw conclusions from the video footage,” said Setati.
Xolelwa said it was disturbing for them to see the incident being played again.
“The minute it is debated and played it becomes painful and disturbing for us.”
She said they were now worried about how Eastern Cape government officials were “playing around” with them as they delayed paying money due to the family.
“W e did everything they wanted us to do but they have yet to give us the full amount,” she said.
Eastern Cape social development and special programmes spokesman Gcobani Maswana said the family had buried Mpumza before the proclamation that families would be assisted by the state for burial costs. “The families who buried their loved ones without assistance from government were asked to submit invoices to their local municipalities and the Mpumza family did submit theirs and we did receive it,” said Maswana, adding R5000 was given to the family towards the burial.
But Xolelwa told the Daily Dispatch not all the money was received.
“We didn’t get all that was due to us. We received less than R8000 for groceries and meat. Other families got R25000 towards the funeral, but what we got was not the amount announced. We are now left with debt and we have no money for that.”
Maswana said his department would look into the claim again. — firstname.lastname@example.org