Marikana cops were attacked - Mpembe

2013-06-18 14:46
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - Police officers on duty in Marikana during last year's mine unrest came under attack from protesters, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

"Regarding the 13 August tragedy, as I was there... police were charged at and they defended themselves and their colleagues," North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe said.

Two police officers were hacked to death during unrest on 13 August.

"I was not at the scene on the 16th [of August], but when I looked via a video, for what is called scene one, I could see that there was a group charging at police. That I can also attribute to self defence."

The commission, sitting in Centurion, is probing the circumstances of the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, in August.

Thirty-four striking miners were shot dead when police tried to disperse them on 16 August.

Ten people, including two policemen, died in strike-related violence the preceding week.

Vuyani Ngalwana, for the police, asked Mpembe on Tuesday to explain to the commission the violence of 13 and 16 August.

The hearing continues.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  william mpembe  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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