June 25, 2015

Farlam Commission report: Police and commissioner to blame for Marikana

The Farlam Commission of inquiry into the Marikana massacre has found that poor police planning and failures of command and control were to blame for the tragedy. The criminal liability of the police should be investigated by a senior state advocate and crime scene experts.
All killings should be "referred to the director of public prosecutions for further investigation".
The commission found that "there must be an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the national police commissioner as well as the North West provincial commissioner."
Announcing the commission's main findings and recommendations, President Jacob Zuma said he had written to commissioner Phiyega about the findings.
Zuma said the commission had exonerated Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of blame for the incident.
"The commission has found that it cannot be said that Mr Ramphosa was the cause of the massacre," he said, adding that such claims had been found to be "groundless".
The commission also found that the "executive played no role in the decision of the police to implement the tactical option on 16 August 2012".
The tactical option required the encirclement of strikers and their disarming, but this plan should only have been implemented when there were few strikers on the scene.
"The tactical option was defective in a number of respects. The police operation should not have taken place on 16 August because of defects in the plan," Zuma said.
Zuma said the commission found that "the decision that the strikers would be forcibly removed ... was not taken by the tactical commanders."
He said the operation should have been stopped after the shooting at scene one. Instead it went ahead and "There was a complete lack of command and control at scene 2".
It had been found that the police had misled commission about when decision was taken to use the tactical option. (Rand Daily Mail, www)

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