Expert: Police lacked intelligence in Marikana

Gary White says police went ahead with their operation despite sparse intelligence.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Police intelligence was significantly lacking on the day 34 striking Marikana miners were killed, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Friday.

The comment was made by international public order policing expert Gary White.

He said on his study of the evidence, police had only established that there were about 3,000 miners on the koppie who were armed with an assortment of traditional weapons.

Yet with this sparse intelligence, officers went ahead with their operation.

White said the police's lack of intelligence had an adverse effect on their ability to plan.

He told the inquiry it was unwise for police to have done this.

The expert dismissed attempts to force him to concede that non-lethal force was not an option.

President Jacob Zuma set up the hearing shortly after the 16 August 2012 bloodbath.

The inquiry is trying to establish whether officers were justified in using lethal force on workers.

Police claim they opened fire on the group after coming under attack.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the deadly shooting, including two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.