Marikana families weep

2014-02-20 18:36
A policeman at 2012's Marikana protest. (AP)

A policeman at 2012's Marikana protest. (AP)

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

Pretoria - A woman wept at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Thursday as North West police chief Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo extended an olive branch to victims of the August 2012 Marikana shootings.

After testifying at the inquiry, being held at the Tshwane municipal chambers, Mbombo asked to address the commission.

"To all the people who lost their loved ones, to those who were injured, I want to say the police have a responsibility to protect," Mbombo said.

"Killing people is not an intention of the police. My plea to all the people of this country is... do not turn you backs against police. My other plea to South Africans is that we should help one another, to help the police when they encounter such problems."

Farlam asks for quiet

Family members of the victims started leaving the auditorium as Mbombo spoke, prompting commission chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, to issue a warning.

"People who are leaving the chamber must please be quiet. I don't want disturbances of this kind," he said.

A woman wailed and was escorted out of the chambers by other women.

Mbombo concluded her evidence to the commission and another police witness was scheduled to take the stand on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier, Mbombo said police did not expect that protesting Lonmin mineworkers would be killed in police operations during the wage-related unrest in Marikana, North West, in August 2012.

"We had our regulations to disarm and arrest the people."

She said police would not have proceeded with their operation had they known people would be killed.

"We did not want to see any bloodshed. We did not want anyone to die. We knew that these people were armed and had already killed certain people, but we were not hoping for bloodshed."

‘Attack’ led to protesters’ deaths

Mbombo was being re-examined by Ishmael Semenya, for the SA Police Service.

Semenya asked Mbombo to explain what would have happened on 16 August 2012 if the protesters had not "attacked" the police.

Mbombo said, in her view, there would not have been any casualties.

Farlam reminded Semenya that it had not been ascertained whether the protesters had attacked the police.

"You know that it is an area of dispute at the moment, whether the strikers were actually attacking the police or were endeavouring to get through to Nkaneng [informal settlement]. You can't put the question across as if that is an established fact.

"It is one of the matters which will be argued in the end and this commission will have to make a finding," said Farlam.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people at Lonmin's platinum mining operations in Marikana, near Rustenburg.

Read more on:    police  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

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


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 network.


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.