Marikana cops told to aim low - witness

2014-05-29 21:36
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

kalahari.com

Pretoria - Police were briefed to aim below the knee before the 2012 Marikana shootings occurred, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

"I told them don't forget the rules of engagement, don't just shoot at people, shoot in the ground," Lieutenant Colonel Little Joe Ronny Classen testified.

He said under cross-examination that he told his men to shoot below the knee if anything went wrong. He was the commander of the tactical response team deployed in Marikana on 16 August 2012.

Classen said he did not know why police officers did not heed his instructions.

George Bizos SC, for the Legal Resources Centre, said police officers had not told the commission they were briefed to shoot below the knee.

Classen said he did not give his colleagues the command to shoot.

Bizos then asked what went wrong on 16 August 2012.

Classen said: "The operation wasn't successful because there wasn't a plan to kill."

Earlier, the commission heard that police had to use live ammunition during the Marikana shooting.

Classen testified that two shots were fired at police as striking miners moved towards them.

He said the approaching strikers were not deterred by warning shots.

"The dust was caused by us firing into the ground. That is a way of giving a warning," he said, referring to a video screened at the commission.

Classen said that when barbed wire was unrolled, the strikers, some of them carrying spears and knobkerries, started to move towards it and the Nyala police vehicles.

Classen joined the police in 1991 and had been trained in crowd management.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the violent wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mining operations.

On 16 August 2012, 34 people, mostly mineworkers, were shot dead by police while trying to disarm and disperse them.

Ten people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed during the preceding week.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  pretoria  |  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
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...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.