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Marikana cops 'tampered with crime scene'

Police accused of killing 34 Marikana miners in 2012 also allegedly altered the crime scene.

Police accused of killing 34 Marikana miners in August 2012 also allegedly altered the crime scene.

CAPE TOWN - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Thursday heard some of the policemen who fired shots at the striking Marikana miners in August 2012 "worked on the crime scene".

The policemen are suspects in the commission President Jacob Zuma set up to determine whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 miners were gunned down.

Miners were engaged in a wage strike when police opened fire in the North West mining town.

The shooting at the Lonmin mine took place in August 2012.

The Commission of Inquiry is hearing evidence from Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner Ganasen Naidoo.

Lawyer for the Legal Resources Centre, Jason Brickhill, has grilled Naidoo about why some of the police officers who fired the shots also removed the weapons surrounding their bodies.

Brickhill said this was "unacceptable", as these officers were potential suspects and should not have been allowed close to the crime scene.

But Naidoo disagreed.

"The ideal situation is that everybody who discharged the firearms were not involved in any way with the scene, but we did not have an ideal situation."

The police have been accused by several parties at the commission of tampering with the crime scene.

The commission has previously heard some striking Marikana miners were shot execution style while others were shot dead while they were surrendering with their hands raised in the air.

The lawyer representing the families of some of the victims, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, told the inquiry some workers had gunshot wounds in their backs, proving they were not charging at the police.

"Four [miners] should not be construed to have been aggressors in the manner suggested."

Proceedings will resume on Friday morning.

The commission is being chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam.