Major General Ganasen Naidoo, a deputy commissioner in the North West Province, was the highest-ranking officer to fire his weapon during the Marikana massacre. His cross-examination at the Farlam Commission is unearthing some disturbing facts and untruths, writes GREG MARINOVICH.
On the afternoon of Monday 13 August 2012, Naidoo was in the backseat of his boss' official car. He and the boss, Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo, were on the way from a meeting at Marikana to their headquarters at Potchefstroom.
Mbombo had tasked her other deputy commissioner, William Mpembe, to disarm miners who had gone to intimidate some of their fellow Lonmin workers who had failed to join the strike. Naidoo remembers that Mbombo was sitting up front alongside her driver, and that she received several calls, some of them in 'vernacular', as he puts it. She was also chatting to her driver.
It would seem that Naidoo was not paying much attention to his superior's conversations, mostly as he could not understand. In fact, he told the Commission that Mbombo would often begin speaking to him in the 'vernacular', and he would have to stop her, reminding her of his linguistic deficiencies.
What Naidoo claims to have missed is...