SAPS Marikana info 'inadequate'

2013-08-27 20:50
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - The SAPS has provided inadequate information to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into last year's shootings at Marikana, the commission was told on Tuesday.

"The SA Police Service [SAPS] has provided the commission with inadequate statements, which we have to rely on," Michelle Le Roux, for the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), said.

"They and the miners know exactly what happened... it is unfortunate that the other party [miners] is not here."

Le Roux had asked North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe where he was and at what time he heard about the shootings on 16 August.

Mpembe could have known about the shootings much earlier, judging by the police radio communication traffic, Le Roux said.

Mpembe said he was not at the scene during the shooting.

"I heard about the shootings over the radio in my hand, as I was heading to board a helicopter."

Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, told Le Roux she would get co-operation from police if she needed more material.

The final report by the commission would not be one-sided.

"Regarding persons who are absent, their versions will be brought before the commission by evidence leaders, who can also call on witnesses," Farlam said.

"To suggest that the report and findings would be one-sided and based on police information is unfounded."

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West, in August last year.

Police shot dead 34 people, almost all striking mineworkers, on 16 August 2012, while trying to disperse and disarm them.

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

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  sahrc  |  ian farlam  |  william mpembe  |  marikana inquiry

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