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Pretoria - Evidence provided by North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe regarding the strike-related unrest in Marikana last year has not assisted at all, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.
“It is important that the commission understand who was in charge,” said Michelle le Roux, for the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
“Your evidence has not been able to assist the commission. You do not have personal knowledge despite being the overall commander.”
Le Roux said she hoped that other members of the South African Police Service due to testify would shed more light on the events at Marikana.
Vuyani Ngalwana, for the police, said Le Roux's statement was “nothing but grandstanding”.
“This has no basis at all, chairperson... To say that my client has not assisted the commission is just grandstanding.”
The commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, said Le Roux's statement was not helpful.
“To say evidence has not assisted the commission is certainly not helpful and cannot certainly be put as a fact.”
Earlier, Farlam requested a short break after Mpembe became emotional and broke down in tears.
Mpembe said he was hurt by statements made by Le Roux on Tuesday during cross-examination that he was not helpful to the commission, and that such statements were on the news later in the evening.
The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenburg in North West, in August last year.
Police shot dead 34 people, almost all striking mineworkers, on August 16, 2012, while trying to disperse and disarm them.
Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.