Bizos questions general's testimony on Marikana

Advocate George Bizos said the general’s testimony on the Marikana operation does not make sense.

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

RUSTENBURG - Police changed their version of events to fit the evidence of expert witnesses, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

Major General Charl Annandale testified at the inquiry in Rustenburg, which is investigating the police's conduct when 34 miners were gunned down during an illegal strike at the North West mine on August 16.

According to the general, the overall police plan provided for the actions of the groups and individuals within the larger collective group, which had gathered on the koppie on the day in question.

Annandale said police were concerned with disarming a smaller, more militant group of 300 protesters.

Advocate George Bizos, who is representing the families of the victims, said the police statements and the operation did not correlate.

He said the protesters were referred to as a violent and dangerous group, which they were trying to disarm.

The inquiry is trying to establish if police were justified in using live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators.

Miners were demanding higher wages and improved living conditions.