Killing of mineworkers was revenge: Mpofu

By Drum Digital
08 May 2013

Police shot dead striking Marikana miners out of revenge, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"The reason why there was this frenzy and you drove all the way from Pretoria uninvited was sparked by the killing of the two policemen," Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, told Maj-Gen Charl Annandale during cross-examination.

Annandale headed the police's tactical operations team during the Marikana unrest.

"Some of the actions were prompted... by revenge," said Mpofu.

Police shot dead 34 striking miners on August 16. Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.

Mpofu asked why more police officials from other provinces were deployed to Marikana, in North West, only after the two policemen were hacked to death.

Annandale denied Mpofu's submission.

"There was no frenzy.... I went to Marikana to acquaint myself with the situation and to find out what resources were needed," said Annandale.

"The provincial commissioner asked me to stay on. It was later confirmed by the national police commissioner that I should stay and assist with these problems.

"[The deployment of more officers] was not a result of the two policemen's deaths. It was as a result of the escalation of the violence and the deaths of five people."

The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the 44 deaths near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana.

-by Sapa

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