South Africa 26.9.2013 11:25 am

POP officers not at Marikana briefing

FILE PIC: Striking mine workers in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP PHOTO / STRINGER.

FILE PIC: Striking mine workers in Rustenburg. Picture: AFP PHOTO / STRINGER.

Not a single public order policing (POP) official was present when the main police briefing on the Marikana unrest dispersal plan was held, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard.

These officers would have been responsible for dispersing striking mineworkers who had gathered at a hill at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in the North West in August last year.

“They (the POP officers) were out in the field,” Lt-Col Duncan Scott told the commission.

Scott said although no current POP member was present to make inputs to the dispersal plan he had drafted, one senior officer who had previously served as a POP officer was present.

The meeting happened on August 16, 2012 around 1.30pm, a few hours before 34 people were shot dead.

Scott was being questioned by evidence leaders about the strategies police used during the strike-related unrest.

On Wednesday, senior evidence leader Geoff Budlender, SC, raised “serious concerns” about the evidence provided by police to the commission.

He said police representatives had been informed about these concerns.

Ishmael Semenya, SC, for the police, indicated that the evidence leaders’ concerns would be addressed in writing.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam and sitting in Centurion, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during the unrest.

Police shot dead 34 people, almost all of them striking miners, while trying to disperse and disarm them on August 16, 2012.

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

-Sapa   

Related articles:

Marikana inquiry a ‘sham’ without miners

Cop quizzed about Marikana plans

Concerns remain over SAPS marikana evidence

SAPS complains about Marikana evidence

Farlam Commission clarifies statement

 

today in print