Cop informer killed in Marikana unrest

2013-04-22 21:56
Striking Marikana miners (Picture: AFP)

Striking Marikana miners (Picture: AFP)

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Rustenburg - A police informant was killed in Marikana, North West, amid the wage-related unrest in August last year, the Farlam Commission on Inquiry heard on Monday.

Major-General Charl Annandale said the victim was a security guard at Lonmin's platinum mine.

The guard was one of 10 people killed in the week before 16 August, when police shot dead 34 striking miners.

Annandale, who headed the police special tactical operations team during the Marikana unrest, told the commission police had brought in negotiators prior to the shooting.

Five representatives for the protesters spoke to the negotiators and informed them they only wanted to speak to mine management.

Lonmin said it would hold talks with workers only once they returned to their jobs.

Annandale said police held talks with the heads of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction (Amcu) and asked that they go and address their striking members.

After the meeting with police, the union leaders refused to travel together with the police to the koppie where the workers had camped for several days.

It appeared there was no trust between the two sides and they did not want to be seen together, said Annandale.

The NUM delegation returned and said the crowd had jeered them and they had been unable to speak to them.

'A good feeling'

Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa was able to speak to workers and told police the armed workers would lay down their weapons the next morning.

"He mentioned that he had good feeling about this and that we will all be smiling the next day," Annandale said.

The commission heard about a body found close to the koppie on 14 August.

In his evidence-in-chief Annandale said police spokesperson Dennis Adriao informed him that journalists had told him about the body.

"His report indicated that the deceased was lying on his back and that he had a huge open wound on his face and head and that he had stab wounds on his body and leg," said Annandale.

"A skeleton of an animal head was left on his chest," he said.

Annandale told the commission the plan police attempted to execute on 16 August was a collective one. It had been put together several days before the shooting.

The number of police

Testifying before the Farlam Commission in Rustenburg several weeks ago, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said the plan was disrupted and that there had been an unprecedented outcome.

Earlier Annandale said police numbers in Marikana declined between 15 and 16 August.

There were about 550 officers deployed to Marikana on 13 August. The number increased to around 750 by the 15th, but decreased to around 600 on 16 August - the day of the shooting.

This was because officers brought in from other provinces during the course of the week had returned to their posts prior to the main shooting and were attending to other matters.

Annandale said he had attended to big operations before, but never one that needed such extensive crowd control where most of the crowd was armed.

The hearings continue.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  amcu  |  num  |  riah phiyega  |  joseph mathunjwa  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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