'Stun grenades used on Marikana miners'

The Marikana Commission of Inquiry continued on Monday following several delays.

Police open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

MARIKANA - A crime scene expert on Monday told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that stun grenades were released from a helicopter on the day of the deadly shooting that killed 34 miners.

The hearing commenced with the cross-examination of the first witness, following several delays.

The inquiry was established by President Jacob Zuma to determine who was ultimately responsible for the August 16 shooting at Lonmin's North West mine.

The incident occurred during wage protests at the Marikana Mine.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam is heading the commission, which is taking place in Rustenburg.

Colonel Johannes Cornelius Botha said he only remembered about the stun grenades after proceedings were adjourned last week.

He said they were released from the helicopter he was travelling in.

Legal teams also cross-examined Botha about recordings he took on the day of the shooting.

Legal representatives vowed to bring witnesses who would testify that miners were shot at from helicopters flying overhead.

Botha said that made him think about what had happened.

"I remembered that two stun grenades were released from the chopper, while I was there."