Scuffle over Marikana placards

2013-03-26 16:56
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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

Rustenburg - A scuffle broke out on Tuesday between police officers and a group of protesters outside the Rustenburg Civic Centre where the Farlam commission is holding public hearings.

Police officers seized a stack of placards from a group of protesters during the lunch break.

The protesters shouted at the police officers, accusing them of murdering the Marikana mineworkers.

"Shoot us all, that is what you are used to," a woman shouted at the large contingent of police officers.

"You have murdered our brothers. [Police commissioner Riah] Phiyega must say the truth," shouted another protester.

Most of the placards read: "Do not let police get away with murder".

A police officer took the stash of placards into a vehicle parked nearby.

A spokesperson for the Marikana Support Campaign, Rehad Desai, said the protesters had been angered by the "evasive" evidence being given to the Farlam commission by Phiyega.

"The people are very angry; these are community members demanding justice. We have every right to protest in this country," he said.

"The police seized our placards, we do not know the reason for that. The placards demand that the police should be brought to book and we also want Phiyega fired."

He said a number of activities would be held across South Africa on 16 August annually to commemorate the death of 34 mineworkers.

When the hearings resumed, Ishmael Semenya, SC, for the police, told the commission that the officers would be informed that the people had the right to protest outside.

Phiyega was still on the witness stand, giving evidence regarding the police’s intervention on 16 August last year.

Under cross examination, Phiyega said the police intervention plan for the troubled Marikana mines was good, but got disrupted during implementation.

Because of this disruption the outcome included the shooting deaths of 34 striking mineworkers, which was unintended, she told the commission.

Evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga, SC, asked the police commissioner whether the police intervention at Marikana could be described as a success.

"Taking into account all the factors you have referred to, would you say that the operation was a success?" he said.

"On 16 August, we do know that 34 people were killed and more than 70 were injured.

"I want you to make a judgment and tell this commission whether based on the SA Police Service's own tests, you can say the [Marikana] operation was a success?"

Phiyega said: "I think I need to be responsible when answering. I have said the plan was good, and it was disrupted.

"It is important for me to take all those issues into context.

"The outcome was intended. The plan was good, it was disrupted and we had an unintended outcome.

"We cannot have a simplified definition of success.

"It would be a broad definition of success."

Madlanga said the evidence-leading team would argue that the Marikana operation was chaotic and did not represent the best of responsible policing.

On 16 August last year, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were injured when the police opened fire near Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest

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

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.