Marikana: Police ‘misdiagnosed’ situation

2013-06-06 12:32

Police misdiagnosed the situation at Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana during last year’s unrest, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry has been told.

Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested miners, said today if police did not have the correct details of the conflict, they could not have had an accurate plan to resolve it.

“If I can prove at the end that there was a series of misdiagnoses of the situation, then the police’s plan was doomed to fail,” he said.

Mpofu was cross-examining national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

He said police did not appropriately address the situation, as they believed the unrest was largely associated with union rivalry. Workers, however, also wanted higher wages.

The commission, sitting in Centurion, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the unrest.

Police shot dead 34 striking mine workers on August 16. Ten people, including two police officers and security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

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