Marikana cop 'must take some blame'

2013-05-14 19:47
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - Police officer Major General Charl Annandale should take some blame for last year's fatal shootings in Marikana in the North West, the Farlam Commission on Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Closing his cross-examination of Annandale, Dali Mpofu, for the arrested and injured miners, said: "You, as an individual had the largest footprint in the massacre."

The commission is holding hearings in Rustenburg into events on 16 August last year, which saw 34 striking miners being shot dead by police at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana.

Ten people were killed in strike-related violence the week before.

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

Mpofu said Annandale had no authority to be at the scene, nor to deploy the special task force or the national intervention unit.

"In 72 hours of your arrival, you made big decisions," said Mpofu.

He said among those decisions was the time for the dispersal action to take place.

Mpofu accused Annandale of overstepping the legal mark in some of his actions.

Risky move

Nokukhanya Jele for the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) began cross-examination of Annandale.

Jele said for the police to attempt to arrest and disarm such a large number of armed strikers was risky.

It was necessary for police to conduct debriefings after all their operations, as stated in the police's standing order, she said.

Police, who were present on 13 August when two colleagues were hacked to death, needed not only a debriefing session but trauma counselling as well.

Those officers were present at Marikana on 16 August when police opened fire on protesters.

Annandale agreed that the debriefings and counselling were a necessity.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  sahrc  |  dali mpofu  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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