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Cop grilled at Marikana Inquiry

The witness said the only time live ammunition should be used is if an officer is defending his life.

Police open fire at protesting workers at the Lonmin mine in Marikana, North West on 16 August, 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

MARIKANA - A police training coordinator on Monday told the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that he was not sure if public order policing members were trained to deal with situations where operations did not go according to plan.

This was revealed during testimony from various witnesses to try and determine if police were justified in using maximum force on the day 34 miners were gunned down.

The incident took place in the North West mining town on August 16 during a violent wage pretest.

Some 10 people, including police officers and a security guard, had been killed before the bloody shooting.

Brigadier Petrus Breytenbach said it is up to the commander to make a decision and change the course of action, if things do not go according to plan.

He said public order policing members were trained to use non- lethal weapons to disperse demonstrators.

The brigadier believes training methods are effective.

Breytenbach says the only time live ammunition should be used is if an officer is defending his life.

He told the inquiry he was not at the scene ion the day of the shooting.

The brigadier found it difficult to answer questions about conduct on the fateful day and if officers were trained to respond in the way that they did.

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