PRETORIA, Sept 2 — The Marikana Commission of Inquiry will visit next Monday Sept 8 the site in the North West where 44 people lost their lives during the violent Lonmin strike in 2012.
Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, made the announcement during Monday sitting of the commission which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the killings.
Farlam has requested all involved parties to submit suggestions electronically about the on-site inspection.
Farlam made the announcement shortly after one of the commission’s many breaks. Farlam says the deadline for interested parties to make submissions electronically, is Wednesday Sept 3. He says he expects the inspection to take the whole day.
On Monday, Lonmin head of security Henry Blou told the commission that Lonmin mine has had a working relationship with the South African Police Services. Blou further says various stakeholders were involved in submitting suggestions on how to demilitarise the security services.
Blou further testified that security officers are trained to establish the situation, in a bid to know how to contain it. He says should there have been threats; they would have contacted the police.
Blou also told the commission that during the August 2012 mineworkers’ strike at Marikana, the security services took the approach that it was a normal strike. Blou says, as security they have to use anything at their disposal to ensure property is not damaged and people are not injured.
Blou further told the commission, as security they did not anticipate that violence would break out during the unprotected strike in August 2012.
In terms of armoured vehicles stationed at Marikana during the strike, Blou says he doesn’t know why they were not used. He says security sometimes used armoured vehicles in their eastern operations during community unrest.
Blou was also cross-examined by Sesi Baloyi, a lawyer representing the police. The commission will continue on Tuesday with the lawyer representing families of the deceased expected to cross examine Blou.