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Pretoria - It was unlikely that North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe ordered police to fire teargas at striking Marikana workers, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.
Evidence presented at the inquiry showed it was unlikely that Mpembe gave the order on August 13, 2012, commission chairman retired judge Ian Farlam said.
A police officer fired teargas at striking mineworkers as police escorted the miners to a hill where other miners had gathered.
The miners retaliated by attacking police, killing two and wounding one.
The two slain officers were hacked, stabbed and shot to death.
In a statement, the officer who had fired the teargas alleged he had heard an instruction to fire. No other officer reported hearing the instruction.
“If you had given the instruction, more than one person would have fired their teargas canister... and recorded it in their pocket books,” said Farlam.
“It seems clear that you did not give the instruction.”
Mpembe, who was testifying before the commission, agreed.
The commission, sitting in Centurion, is investigating the events that led to the deaths of 44 people during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mining operations at Marikana, near Rustenberg in North West in August last year.
Thirty-four people, mostly miners, were shot dead by police on August 16. Ten other people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed in the preceding week.