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Marikana shooting: Senior officials blamed

An air wing commander has accused senior officers of not stopping the August 2012 carnage.

An air wing commander has accused senior officers of not stopping the August 2012 carnage at Marikana.

JOHANNESBURG - An air wing commander, who was working on the day of the Marikana shooting, is pointing fingers at senior officers for not stopping the carnage.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry has been set up to look into the deaths of 44 people before and during the shooting at Lonmin's North West mine in August 2012.

The commission has heard that senior police officers on the scene of the violent miner protests should have taken charge much sooner than they did.

North West air wing commander Salmon Vermaak, who was a so-called 'eye in the sky' at the time of the shooting, refused to be blamed for not stopping the operation to disperse and disarm.

Vermaak says it was not his responsibility to make the call to halt the operation.

He says that was a call for senior officers to make as they were standing next to the bodies of miners who'd already been gunned down.