We were able to disarm Marikana strikers - cop

2014-05-27 14:37
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - Police had a 100% success rate when they asked striking mineworkers to put down their weapons at Marikana, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

The striking Lonmin mineworkers were more interested in reaching a settlement and going home, said Advocate Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested miners.

He was cross-examining Captain Wayne Peter Kidd, who was part of a reserve group deployed at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West, on 16 August 2012, to protect an informal settlement near the hill where the strikers had gathered.

Kidd agreed with Mpofu, saying the ones who wanted to pass through the area they were guarding put down their weapons and were allowed to pass.

Mpofu asked him what had happened to the weapons the strikers left before passing the area that Kidd was working in.

He said he didn't know. More than 100 people were allowed to pass.

Kidd said not everyone who approached police to pass had weapons. He denied that he told his colleagues the strikers were dangerous.

Kidd said he told officers the strikers had dangerous weapons.

Mpofu asked about a statement by a police constable that Kidd told officers they should defend their lives when faced with life-threatening situations.

Kidd said he didn't say police should defend themselves by shooting.

The commission, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the violent wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mining operations.

On 16 August 2012, 34 people, mostly mineworkers, were shot dead by police, while trying to disarm and disperse them.

Another 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed during the preceding week.

The commission continues on Thursday.

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