Police in the hot seat at Marikana inquiry

The police are facing criticism for the tactical phase of their operation in Marikana last year.

Crosses on the koppie in Marikana, where 34 miners were killed in a standoff with police on 16 August 2012. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have come under fire for the tactical phase of their operation in Marikana last year and questions are being raised about whether officers were prepared.

Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan Scott is being cross examined at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry about the plan he put together before the shooting in which 34 mine workers were killed on 16 August 2012.

The commission resumed in Centurion this morning after a lengthy delay over state funding for the miners.

Evidence leader Matthew Chaskalson says police should have predicted that the protesters would charge towards them after they had 'caged' them in with barbed wire.

Scott says they were merely trying to create a barrier between the officers and the miners.

The tactical phase and the instructions to open fire are being questioned because these didn't fall under the police's original plan, which was formulated days before the shooting.

On Monday, the commission also heard that mortuary vans had been called to the scene on the morning of 16 August, hours before the shooting took place.