Police failed to implement Marikana plan

2014-11-10 21:01
Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The police had failed to implement their plan during the August 2012 unprotected strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

"The commission must find that the police in their omission to implement their own plan from the 10th of August, created conditions that resulted in heightened tensions in Marikana," Tshepiso Ramphele told the commission during final arguments.

Ramphele represents the families of two Lonmin security guards Hassan Fundi and Frans Mabelane and non-striking miner Eric Mabebe, who were killed by striking mineworkers on 12 August.

"The plan was meant to be implemented on a 24-hour basis. It's so important that they could not let their eye off the ball. Yet the police failed to execute this plan," Ramphele said.

The failure to implement the plan resulted in lawlessness among the strikers which "weakened a late intervention", he said.

This lack of police intervention was what lead to the deaths of the three.

Police had a duty to protect non-striking workers, he said.

He recommended that the police make a public submission as to why they did not implement the plan.

"There has to be full disclosure by the police on what actually happened for them to not actually take their responsibility in the manner in which they themselves indicated they were prepared to do."

He added that those who were found to have neglected their duties should be brought to book.

The commission also heard that deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa's representatives would not make oral submissions.

"We've received a letter stating that they stand by their written submissions in their original heads of arguments and replies and there's nothing they wish to add to that," said evidence leader Geoff Budlender.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana during strike-related unrest in August 2012.

Thirty-four people, mostly striking mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012.

More than 70 people were wounded and more than 200 were arrested.

The police were apparently trying to disarm and disperse them.

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

Read more on:    marikana inquiry

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