Marikana cop accuses Amcu leader of lying

2014-01-30 19:04
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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

Pretoria - Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa lied when he testified at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, North West police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo said on Thursday.

Mbombo said Mathunjwa was wrong in saying she had left Lonmin's volatile mine before the shootings in Marikana on 16 August 2012, to attend an ANC torch-bearing ceremony with the provincial premier.

Advocate Ishmael Semenya, for the police, led Mbombo in submitting her evidence at the commission's public hearings in Pretoria.

"You say after you received a briefing that the strikers have not put their weapons down, you gave an instruction that they must be dispersed, disarmed and arrested. After that you left the JOC [joint operations committee] and proceeded where?

"Mr Mathunjwa's evidence is that you were leaving to attend a torch-bearing ceremony of the ANC," said Semenya.

Mbombo replied: "That is a blue lie. I have not been involved at any torch-bearing ceremony of the ANC. I knew at the time that there was such an event in my province.

"I remembered that I had not had the chance of seeing Lieutenant [Shimatu] Baloyi who had been injured during the confrontation [with protesters] on Monday [13 August 2012]. I then left and went to Rustenburg Hospital to see him."

Testifying in isiXhosa, Mbombo disputed claims that her actions were irresponsible.

"I was working there with people who are vastly knowledgeable, able to do the job we were doing. I did not leave just because of being irresponsible. I knew I left people who knew what to do and had dealt with the problem since the beginning."

Mbombo said that after visiting the hospital she went to the JOC and was briefed by senior officers. She said she "was around" when the 34 striking miners were shot dead.

Acting irresponsibly

Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, said allegations that she had acted irresponsibly could not be correct.

"The point is that you came back before the operation commenced. Any criticism that you went away while the operation was going on is therefore not correct. Is that so?"

Mbombo agreed.

In November 2012, Mathunjwa told the inquiry that before the shootings he had felt "betrayed" by police and Lonmin management. Mathunjwa testified that after addressing workers on a hill in Marikana on 16 August, he went to the JOC to give feedback.

"We wanted to see the provincial commissioner, Madam Mbombo, because in the morning we had been told, and she confirmed, that she was now in charge of the operation," he said.

"We later saw [deputy provincial police commissioner] Lieutenant General [William] Mpembe. He told us that she was not around. He said she had gone to an ANC torch-lighting ceremony with the North West premier."

Answers sought

Mathunjwa said the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's (Amcu) delegation had sought answers from Mpembe about why Mbombo left at such a critical moment.

"I wanted to know how can she just leave? In the morning she had been harsh to me," Mathunjwa said.

"He [Mpembe] said he would want to contact her by phone. He moved away from us, went away and he never came back."

Mathunjwa said he had wanted to convey the situation at the hill to the senior policewoman.

"I then phoned [Lonmin mine executive Jomo] Kwadi. He said he wanted to consult with the mine management."

Mathunjwa said Kwadi called back and said management was not willing to meet him to discuss the workers' requests. According to Mathunjwa, Kwadi said the protesters' concerns should be conveyed to the police.

Mathunjwa testified: "I responded by saying 'Are you insane?' What substance have you taken? Can't you take a glass of water to be sober?

"He never responded. He switched off his phone. I called another Lonmin executive, but he said he was not involved in the processes."

Moments later, police opened fire on the protesters, killing 34 and wounding 78 near the hill.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including the two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The commission resumes on Friday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  amcu  |  ian farlam  |  ishmael semenya  |  joseph mathunjwa  |  marikana inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.