Plan was to isolate militants - cop

2013-09-05 15:08
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - The police plan was to encircle a small militant group at a hill during strike-related unrest at Marikana last year, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

"We initially planned for 3 000 strikers, but we received information that not all strikers remained at the koppie, only a core group believed to be... mostly of the leadership," Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Scott said.

Scott was central in drafting the plan police used to attempt to disperse striking mineworkers.

Several police officials who were part of the operation referred to it as the "Scott plan".

Head of Lonmin mine security Graeme Sinclair played a vital part in helping with his knowledge of the area and the movements of the strikers, Scott said.

"We knew that the group that remained overnight on the koppie had a good reason to do so. It was bitterly cold on the koppie especially at night."

The plan involved setting up roadblocks on routes leading to the koppie, and having vehicles from reaction teams of the special task force and the national intervention unit ready if a threat to lives arose.

"I also decided to place officers from crime intelligence inside Nkaneng informal settlement as some moved from Nkaneng to the koppie."

Scott later prepared to present the plan to the operation team.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the killing of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's Marikana operations near Rustenburg in the North West.

Thirty-four people were killed - almost all striking mineworkers - as police attempted to disperse them on 16 August 2012.

Ten other people, including two police officers and two security guards were killed in the preceding week.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  marikana inquiry
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