Mpofu: Charge Marikana cops with murder

2014-01-23 18:26
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - Lawyers will recommend that 60 people must be charged with murder in connection with the Marikana shooting, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing the wounded and arrested Lonmin miners at the inquiry, told police officer Brigadier Adriaan Calitz that all officers who fired at the protesters should face consequences.

"For the reasons that we canvassed last week, we will recommend that you and others ought to be charged with the murders of all 34 persons. Not you alone. Our list now is at about 60 and you will be somewhere around accused number six," Mpofu said.

"Below you [on the list] will be the TRT [police tactical response team] shooters and above you are some of the most senior people, going right up, whom at this stage I am not at liberty to mention."

Calitz said he had had no intention to murder anyone. He was the operational police commander during attempts to end the violent strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West, in August 2012.

Calitz said the evidence indicated there was no "element of murder".

"I did not have such an intention [to murder]. It was a tragic event which should not have happened. I have a lot of feeling for the people whose loved ones died. I acted to the best of my knowledge to conduct this operation successfully."

Killing orders

On Tuesday, Mpofu told the commission that Calitz issued orders to kill and he should be prosecuted.

"I will recommend that you, among other people, be charged with murder of at least the people killed at scene one," Mpofu said.

"You gave the instructions to kill. I have been trying to demonstrate to you that such killing was not reasonably justified. Your instructions would attract the charge of murder."

Calitz said his hands were clean and he did not agree with Mpofu.

"I can only say I differ totally from what you are saying....The murders that you are speaking about are [recorded] clearly on video. No instructions were given there and that is referred to as self-defence," said Calitz.

The commission, led by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is probing the deaths of 44 people in Marikana.

On 16 August 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when the police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine. They were trying to disperse and disarm them.

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

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  dali mpofu
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