Marikana massacre

In South Africa on August 16th 2012, 34 people were killed and roughly 78 injured as police opened fire on striking miners. The majority of those killed were employed by Lonmin platinum mines who were striking due to wage disputes. On the day of the shooting thousands of miners gathered and were ordered to disperse by police, it has been suggested that when strikers refused commander Brigadier Calitz gave orders to open fire on them.

Former partner at TV Edwards and consultant Jim Nichol is currently in South Africa representing minors on a pro bono basis in the Marikana enquiry. This has proved to be a long term commitment and extends beyond the enquiry to addressing public meetings. The evidence being given shows the extraordinary benefit of well prepared and informed cross examination.

The evidence of Brigadier Calitz continued:

Cross examined by Dali Mpofo Advocate

For Shot and arrested Miners

Q.I will submit

to this Commission

that you be prosecuted

pre-meditated murder.


Q.You ordered the shootings


Q.A Lonmin executive

heard you order


immediately before

the firing.

A."Engage"does not mean

with live ammunition

Q.What does it mean

A.Maybe rubber bullets

Q.Does "engage" ever mean

live ammunition


Q.Look at exhibit "Q"

training for police officers

entitled "shooting exercises"


Q.Does it say that

live ammunition

was to be fired

on the command



Note to editors: Jim Nichol was a member partner at  TV Edwards and now continues to practise as a consultant based in South Africa. Anthony Edwards is Senior Partner and a specialist Crime Solicitor who runs national training for Criminal law updates. TV Edwards have 6 offices across London and also specialise in  Family, Housing, Community Care and Mental Health Law. For further information please contact  Jane Pritchard on 0203 440 8202, 07786 15 11 66 or