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Marikana commission resumes hearings

Sapa

The Farlam commission, which is investigating the deaths of 44 people during labour-related unrest at Marikana, is set to resume its public hearings.

The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people during labour-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

The Farlam commission of inquiry will resume its public hearings in Pretoria on Monday.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is investigating the deaths of 44 people during labour-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg, in North West.

On August 16 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 were wounded when police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine while attempting to disperse and disarm them. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed.

Matthew Chaskalson SC was expected to continue cross-examining Brigadier Adriaan Calitz when the commission resumed.

Calitz was the commander in charge of the police on the scene the day of the shooting.

The commission was expected to complete its investigation, including the gathering of evidence and concluding the public hearings, by April 30.

'You knew nothing'
Meanwhile, the commission on November 28 heard that the police intervention plan to curb the labour unrest at Lonmin mine at Marikana in 2012 was faulty.

Evidence leaders head Geoff Budlender SC, said that for close to an hour Calitz did not know that his charges had shot dead protesters on August 16 last year.

"Evidence will be led that there was an e.tv broadcast shortly after 4pm in which the shootings at scene one were shown. Anyone who saw that [tv broadcast] would have known that the shootings had taken place," Budlender said.

"You were the operational commander, yet you knew nothing about the shootings for nearly an hour."

Budlender said the shootings happened at 3.53pm and Calitz was only informed at 4.47pm.

Calitz agreed. He said he did not hear the volley of police bullets because the Nyala he was in was noisy. – Sapa

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