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I did not shoot anyone: Marikana top cop

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iol news pic Adriaan Calitz

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Brigadier Adriaan Calitz, the commander who was in charge of the police on the day of the Marikana shootings, fixes his jacket during the Farlam Commission of Inquiry. File picture: Masi Losi

Pretoria - A senior policeman disputed proposals made to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday suggesting that he should face prosecution for murdering protesting Lonmin mineworkers.

Brigadier Adriaan Calitz was re-examined by Ishmael Semenya, SC, representing the police at the inquiry in Pretoria.

“Mr (Dali) Mpofu suggests that you ought to be indicted for murder. Did you fire any shots at those who were injured or those who passed on?” Semenya asked.

He also requested Calitz to explain whether there had been “any common purpose and intention amongst the police officers” to unlawfully kill the protesting mineworkers.

Calitz said he did not use his service firearm on August 16, 2012.

“At scene one, it was self defence (by the officers). Up to now I have not heard of anything that was conducted (by police) unlawfully.

“There was no intention to kill any civilian, not in my position and not in my line of duty. Not at all,” said Calitz.

Calitz was the operational police commander during the protracted violent strike at Marikana, near Rustenburg.

The three-member commission, led by retired judge Ian Farlam, is probing the deaths of 44 people during the wage-related protests in Marikana.

On August 16, 2012, 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead and 78 people were wounded when the police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine. They were trying to disperse and disarm them.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and two security guards, were killed in strike-related violence.

Earlier this month, Dali Mpofu, SC, representing the wounded and arrested Lonmin miners at the inquiry, said he would recommend that 60 people, including Calitz, be charged with murder in connection with the Marikana shootings.

Mpofu said all officers who fired at the protesters should face consequences.

“For the reasons that we canvassed, we will recommend that you and others ought to be charged with the murders of all 34 persons. Not you alone. Our list now is at about 60 and you will be somewhere around accused number six,” Mpofu said.

“Below you (on the list) will be the TRT (police tactical response team) shooters and above you are some of the most senior people, going right up, whom at this stage I am not at liberty to mention.”

Calitz said he had had no intention to murder anyone. He said evidence presented to the commission indicated there was no “element of murder”.

Sapa


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