Cop commissioner's decisions apt - expert

2012-12-13 14:17
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rustenburg - The decisions of deputy North West police commissioner General William Mpembe during the initial stages of an August strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine were appropriate, the Farlam Commission heard on Thursday.

Public order policing training expert Brigadier Zephania Mkhwanazi was asked to comment on Mpembe's decision not to take action against a group of "heavily armed" protesters on August 13.

"I would say it was correct, depending on how many (police) members and how many protesters (there were)," Mkhwanazi said.

Advocate Ishmael Semenya, for the police, said Mpembe had felt that he had an inadequate number of officers to deal with the armed protesters.

He had asked the group to lay down their arms and in exchange the police would not arrest them. The protesters refused but Mpembe did not order any arrests.

‘Matter of trust’

Mkhwanazi said that one had to take into account "was he going to put the [police] members' lives in danger, or what was the situation?" in order to comment on the appropriateness of this decision.

Rather, Mpembe ordered the police officers to escort the group back to the koppie, where the protesters were expected to disarm.

Mkhwanazi said this was a "matter of trust", dependent on the situation. He was not initially expected to present his opinion on the events.

On Wednesday, he indicated that he felt it would be "unfair" to comment on the events - in which he was not involved - with the benefit of hindsight.

Earlier, Mkhwanazi explained that threat assessments are carried out to determine the roles played by various law enforcement divisions.

Levels of risk

Situations perceived to have a low level of risk - such as a march by old age pensioners - are classified as Level One threats, Mkhwanazi said.

These operations usually required traffic officers and visible policing members, with public order police on standby.

Level Two protests - such as a march by schoolchildren - were those with a medium level of risk. In such marches, damage to property might be expected.

For these events, public order police would be in the vicinity, but would not be a visible presence, and would be mobilised only if necessary.

Protests that were likely to escalate into violence were designated as Level Three threats, such as service delivery protests. Public order police would be in control of these operations, Mkhwanazi said.

The three-member commission is holding public hearings at the Rustenburg Civic Centre. Retired judge Ian Farlam is chairperson of the judicial commission of inquiry.

The other commissioners are senior advocates Bantubonke Tokota and Pingla Hemraj.


Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  amcu  |  num  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Cope loses members to ANC

President of the Cope Youth Movement, Abel Rangata, and three other Cope members have resigned from the party to join the ANC.


Latest elections multimedia

11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
  • Thursday Cape Town - 08:49 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between Lower Church Street and the Waterfront exit via the Elevated Freeway
  • Thursday Athlone - 08:43 AM
    Road name: Klipfontein Road Westbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Jan Smuts Drive and Liesbeeck Parkway
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get 50% off selected books!

Buy 2 books and get 50% off the second book. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:


You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.