Top cop outlines Marikana turbulence

2014-01-29 21:12
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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

Pretoria - North West police chief Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo on Wednesday recalled details about events leading up to the Marikana shooting in 2012.

She said she instructed her deputy to ask for extra manpower from head office after two mine security guards were killed.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the events, sitting in Pretoria, accepted her affidavit as evidence.

Mbombo walked into the Tshwane council chambers' auditorium shortly after lawyers concluded cross-examining another senior police officer, Brigadier Adriaan Calitz.

Mbombo detailed in her statement how she drove with her deputies to Lonmin's platinum mines in Marikana on 13 August and was appraised about the "previous days' violent incidents" by Lonmin's security head, Graeme Sinclair.

"I requested a full briefing of the cause, extent and nature of the strike by the protesters. We were advised that [Lonmin] management did not really know what the cause of the strike was," she said.

"During the briefing, it became apparent that part of the problem was Lonmin management negotiating a salary allowance with a particular group of employees outside the bargaining structures."

Mbombo said she gathered that the problem had been exacerbated by "disharmony" between the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union [Amcu] and the rival National Union of Mineworkers [NUM].

"The Lonmin management further informed me that they had attempted, on various occasions, to solve the problems between these two unions without any success. I indicated that I would get the leadership of Amcu and NUM to attend a meeting."

Police deployed

Lonmin management asked that police officers be deployed to the mine precinct to prevent further damage to property.

"Later on that day, I received a telephone call from [North West deputy police commissioner William] Mpembe who advised me that SAPS members had been attacked, one was severely injured and two had been murdered... Two of the protesters had been shot dead, apparently by SAPS members and another person had died, apparently as a result of being stabbed," Mbombo said.

"I immediately returned to Marikana... and I telephonically got in touch with national police commissioner [Riah Phiyega] and briefed her about the incidents."

Due to the escalation of violence, she instructed the security joint operations centre to formulate a comprehensive plan to prevent further loss of life and injuries.

Later on 13 August 2012, Phiyega arrived in Marikana with a delegation of senior police officers and was briefed about the situation.

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 the two policemen and the two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

The inquiry resumes on Thursday.

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.
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  riah phiyega  |  marikana inquiry 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


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks thrash USA, Habana level with Lomu
As it happened: Springboks 64-0 USA
No England contact for White
Boks: Coenie ‘worst dresser’
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire 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.