Top cop breaks down at commission

marikana commission Top cop breaks down at commission

North West deputy police commissioner Major-General William Mpembe broke down in tears at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

Mpembe said today he was hurt by statements made by Michelle Le Roux, for the SA Human Rights Commission, during cross-examination yesterday.

“Yesterday there was an insinuation that I am very unhelpful and uncooperative,” he said.

“I respect the commission and everyone here … this was reported all over the news last night … I humble myself before the commission,” Mpembe said before breaking down in tears.

Le Roux told the commission yesterday that information provided by police was inadequate and the commission would have to rely on one side.

Commission chairperson retired Judge Ian Farlam told Le Roux that was not true, and the commission’s report would be balanced.

Le Roux told Mpembe that she did not imply that he was unhelpful.

“I said that because, although overall commander, you do not have personal knowledge of the events last year.”

Farlam requested a short break to allow Mpembe to recover.

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 mine workers, 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.


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