Miners were 'willing to die for high salaries'

The Marikana Inquiry is viewing video footage of Marikana miners hours before the deadly shooting.

Protesters from Lonmin's Marikana Mine in the North West sit on a nearby hill, awaiting instruction from their leaders. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MARIKANA - Video footage of protesters at Lonmin's Marikana mine saying they were willing to die for a higher salary on the day of the shooting was shown to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Friday.

Evidence is being presented at the inquiry which is trying to determine if police were justified in using maximum force to disperse protesters at Lonmin's Platinum mine in the North West.

At least 34 miners were shot dead during clashes with police in August.

The protesters were demanding better salaries and improved living conditions.

In the end, management agreed to increase their salaries by 22 percent.

Duncan Scott is showing the commission video footage of the protesters behaviour just a few hours before the deadly shooting.

In the video, protest leaders are seen telling the crowd that they were willing to die and that they were not afraid of the police.

Police have focused on the miners threatening behaviour before the shooting.

Scott testified that mineworkers vowed to kill officers on several occasions.

On Thursday, Lieutenant Victor Visser testified that they watched their colleagues being hacked to death from a helicopter circling Lonmin's Marikana mine in August.

Visser said it is evident from the video footage that the miners were determined and angry.

"It is visible in the force, the nature and gruesomeness of the attack."

The miners overpowered police and hacked them to death.

Fellow officers, who were hovering in a helicopter above watching the attacks, released stun grenades and teargas which helped disperse the crowd.

The commission has four months to complete its work.