Marikana cops had 'apartheid mentality'

2013-05-09 14:30
(Felix Dlangamandla, Foto24)

(Felix Dlangamandla, Foto24)

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Rustenburg - Some of the police officers at the Marikana shootings retained an "apartheid mentality", the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

"Maybe some of the people involved in the making of the decisions [at Marikana] had not unlearnt the methods of the apartheid police," submitted Dali Mpofu, for the arrested and injured miners.

"They perhaps used the skiet-en-donner [shoot and beat] approach," he said.

Mpofu was cross-examining Major General Charl Annandale, who headed the police's tactical operations team in Marikana during last year's wage-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine.

Annandale, who joined the police in 1982, during the apartheid era, rejected Mpofu's statement.

Values

"My colleagues and I, who joined the force prior to 1994, have already served 19 years in democracy. I've served longer in democracy than in the apartheid era.

"Even in the former regime, I worked according to my own values, taught to me by my parents, particularly based on respect," said Annandale.

"There was no skop-skiet-en-donner [kick, shoot and beat] approach," he said.

Mpofu referred Annandale to a statement made by Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa shortly before the police opened fire on striking miners.

Mathunjwa advised strikers to disperse from a hill where they had gathered, and said they would be killed as the life of a black person was cheap.

"I don't know what Mathunjwa based his opinions or views on. This wasn't my mentality, neither did I detect it from any of my colleagues," said Annandale.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people - 34 of them at the hands of the police - in wage-related unrest near Lonmin's platinum mine, in Marikana, in August.

The public hearings are being held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

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

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