South Africa: Judge Farlam - Someone Could Come Forward to Solve Marikana 'Mystery'

Screenshot from the documentary, Miners Shot Down (file photo).

The police had not originally planned to go 'tactical' and confront striking mineworkers on the afternoon of 16 August 2012. When they did, they expected bloodshed. Marikana Commission of Inquiry chairperson Judge Ian Farlam said someone may come forward to explain why the SAPS was determined to end the strike that day, despite the risks.

The death of 34 mineworkers on 16 August 2012 could have been averted if the SAPS stuck to its original plan to disperse striking Lonmin employees early in the morning. Instead, it implemented an ill-conceived strategy in the afternoon despite the obvious risks, said retired judge and Marikana Commission of Inquiry chairperson Ian Farlam on Tuesday.

Farlam, speaking during an Institute of Security Studies (ISS) webinar, said it's a mystery why the police were determined to confront and disperse thousands of striking mineworkers that afternoon when they had planned a relatively risk-free operation to encircle the koppie where the strikers would gather in the morning when few of them would be there.

He was speaking after the eighth annual commemoration of the massacre, which claimed 44 lives between 10 and 16 August 2012, was held on Sunday. The commemoration was marked by continued calls for...

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