Marikana cops had 224 R5 rifles

2013-11-28 05:00
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Pretoria - Police at Marikana had 225 R5 rifles on the day 34 people were shot, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"For the benefit of the commission, we have asked the SAPS how many R5s were on the scene that day [16 August] and they said there were 225," evidence leaders' head Advocate Geoff Budlender told the commission.

He then cross-examined Brigadier Adriaan Calitz, who was the operational commander at Marikana during the unrest, about the ammunition.

"Did you not instruct Colonel [Joseph] Merafe for [an] additional 4 500 rounds for the R5 rifles?"

Calitz replied: "I did not give that instruction to Colonel Merafe on that day [16 August] as he says. Not at all."

On 16 August 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police fired on a group gathered at a hill near Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, North West.

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

On Wednesday, Calitz said that during the week before 16 August, police fired several bullets during clashes with the protesters and needed to replace them.

"I only told Merafe that all the ammunition that had been used needed to be replaced. I did not mention any numbers," said Calitz.

Additional bullets

The commission's chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, said Merafe would have to be brought to the inquiry to answer questions about claims that Calitz instructed him to get the additional 4 500 bullets.

Calitz told the commission an R5 rifle magazine contained more than 30 rounds.

Budlender said the additional ammunition was brought to Marikana on 16 August, but was not used during the clash.

Earlier, Calitz said police crime intelligence gathered information that the protesting Marikana mineworkers would not voluntarily disarm before 16 August.

"It was indeed said [by crime intelligence] that there were already 3 000 people and they were not going to put down their weapons. They were going to resist the police and were going to fight."

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission of inquiry last August.

The public hearings continue in Centurion on Thursday.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  ian farlam  |  marikana inquiry

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
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.