28 February 2014
Advocate Mathew Chaskalson SC, continued cross-examining Major General Naidoo.
The witness said when he moved into scene 2, Brigadier Calitz was the operational commander there. “When I got there, I realised that it was a tactical operation and no longer a crowd management situation. In no way was Brigadier Calitz undermined because of his rank and I do not see any conflict when a brigadier is an operational commander and has to give orders to a major general. One has to be aware of what our policy says. I personally did not have a problem with brigadier Calitz giving me orders or instructions,” said the General.
Adv. Chaskalson told the Commission that the canine unit fired more shots at koppie 2 than any other. It was reported that canine members fired 39 R5 rounds, Public Order Policing (POP) fired 12 R5 rounds and 46 9mm rounds, Tactical Response Team (TRT) fired 44 R5 rounds and National Intervention Unit fired 103 R5 rounds and 12, 9mm rounds at koppie 2.
Major General Naidoo said there was no order instructing members to shoot and they were only ordered to stand in line. He testified that before he arrived where the NIU was, they had already fired shots and some bodies were down.
He said while he was walking alongside his vehicle, he was using it as cover. “When I was walking on foot to get to the area where the NIU was, there were bullets hitting the ground near me. When going to the NIU area I wanted to check where the shooting was coming from. When I got there I could still hear more shots being fired but I could not see or hear who was shooting but it was not in my direction and the NIU members were not shooting.”
27 February 2014
Advocate Mathew Chaskalson SC, continued cross-examining Major General Naidoo.
Mr Chaskalson asked General Naidoo if he made himself responsible to know the routes during the Marikana operation. The witness replied by saying that it did not seem like it was going to be challenge because he had a driver and they had a map and everything seemed fine. General Naidoo further said he cannot explain how they got lost and because he was not the one driving he could also not explain how they missed a turn next to the power station.
Mr Naidoo said he had no excuse for not informing the overall commander, Major General Mpembe that he had left medics behind. He said it did not occur to him that informing Mpembe or anyone else about the medics would be a good idea.
The witness said he does not know if the SAPS is investigating why the police did not administer first aid at scene 1. Advocate Chaskalson said the SAPS should be required to administer first aid in situations such as the one in Marikana. General Naidoo said he understood the need for injured people to receive first aid in the soonest time possible, however issues such as what would happen if the injured person dies while receiving first aid, need to be considered.
General Naidoo said if one of the injured strikers was lying on the ground for some time without receiving any medical attention and wanted to crawl to get help, the police would have to monitor him.
Advocate Chaskalson said it is utterly untenable to have a policy where a wounded man who is bleeding to death cannot get medical assistance.
24 February 2014
Evidence leader, Advocate Mathew Chaskalson cross-examined Major General Ganasen Naidoo.
General Naidoo said that basic training in administering first aid is part of police training and that it includes CPR, stabilising an injured person and administering basic first aid. He said if a colleague of his is injured and needed first aid, he would be able to help.
When asked if he has ever been briefed of the need to get Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to attend to gunshot victims, the witness said he recognises the need for EMS to attend to anyone needing treatment as soon as possible.
Major General Naidoo said on 16/08/2012 while he was moving with his convoy, he did not have a vision of the area where the dispersion was taking place because the substation and some trees had blocked his view. He said if necessary he could go there to refresh his memory.
“I was not aware of the nature of injuries after I heard a report of bodies down. I thought the worst case scenario was a sprain or stampede injury. I did not expect that we were going to deal with any deaths, in terms of the briefing we had received. It was an unexpected volley of shots,” he continued.
Advocate Chaskalson told the witness that there are various aspects of his evidence that are manifestly false.
The major part of the day was spent on reconstructing General Naidoo’s vehicle movements.
21 February 2014
Advocate Semenya led Major General Naidoo on his evidence in chief.
General Naidoo said he went together with Major General Mpembe and General Annandale to attend the briefing sessions of the trade unions where there were presidents of both NUM and Amcu and other office bearers. The purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on their visit to the koppie and an indication of what was the way forward in terms of the intervention that was undertaken.
The witness told the Commission that Num reported that they were not welcomed at the koppie by the strikers but Amcu said they were well received and had fruitful discussions with the strikers. Num however said they will do all their best endeavours to assist the police in their interaction.
“Joseph Mathunjwa said he will go back to the koppie the following morning at 09:00 to provide feedback to the strikers. Mr Mathunjwa gave us a genuine indication that this matter could be resolved peacefully. We believed him because he was quite confident in terms of what he said. We even discussed how the strikers were going to lay down their weapons the following day. So there was nothing to lead us to believe it was not going to happen.”
On 16/08/2012 I arrived at the Joc in the morning to get a briefing from General Annandale on the situation for the day. Lieutenant Colonel Scott was presenting the operational plan. The understanding was that the Amcu undertaking would be realised and the strikers would lay down their weapons and disperse.
The Major General said he was deployed to Forward Holding Area 1 with 20 STF members, 25 NIU members, 21 TRT members, 32 canine members, 14 mounted unit members, 8 POP members and 3 detectives. The witness said they had detectives because they had expected the laying down of the arms to occur and they would have a process of securing those weapons because in the previous days some criminal acts were committed and possibly it was with some of those weapons that were going to be surrendered. Therefore the crime scene personnel and the detectives would be responsible in securing exhibits and processing them for forensic analysis and further investigations of the crimes that were committed.
“We also had fire-fighters because we had previously noticed that the protesters made use of fire as one of the tactics in terms of burning of premises, vehicles, etc. so we had them to help should a situation like that arise. Colonel Isaacs made a briefing at the Joc and indicated that there was resistance from the group at the koppie to the laying down of arms. At that stage no SAPS member foresaw the death of 34 people,” he continued.
20 February 2014
Advocate Ishmael Semenya re-examined North West police commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo.
General Mbombo said when making the decision to disarm the protesters on 16/08/2012, she thought the SAPS members were going to be able to deal with it and she did not expect the problems they encountered on the day. “I thought there would be those who would refuse to hand over their weapons and that is why we had the TRT to help in that situation but I did not foresee any fatalities. Had we foreseen the deaths of 34 people, we would not have proceeded with the operation on 16/08/2012.”
The witness told the Commission during her re-examination with Adv. Ishmael Semenya that she did not think of any solution that Mr Julius Malema would bring to the Marikana problem. When asked if she felt any political pressure when making the decision for stage 3, General Mbombo said she did not and that in all the years she spent as a police officer or as provincial commissioner she never made any decision based on political pressure.
“When the decision of doing a de-briefing after the Commission was made, it was then thought that the Marikana Commission of Inquiry would last for only four months. To date I still do not know how long the Commission will last,” she continued.
Lt Gen Mbombo said during the Marikana operation, Brigadier Calitz was the operational commander and there were other commanders of different sections. She explained that as operational commander, Brig Calitz only communicates with section commanders who are then supposed to give instructions to their members.
I never wanted to conceal the decision for stage 3. The Marikana operation seemed like a national operation because it had SAPS members from all over the country but it was a provincial operation.
Ms Mbombo said the police have a responsibility to protect and not to kill and she ended her testimony at the Commission by pleading with all South Africans not to turn their backs on the police and that communities should cooperate with the police.
18 February 2014
Advocate Michelle Le Roux cross-examined Lt Gen Mbombo.
General Mbombo said the phase 3 of the Marikana operation on 16/08/2012 had no written operational plan. However she said she thought there was a plan and she does not know why there wasn’t one and that this shocks her. She said there is nothing compelling her to force someone to show her a written plan.
The witness was told by Advocate Le Roux that if bloodshed was foreseeable then it was therefore all the more important for Ms Mbombo to ask for a written plan.
The Commission heard from Gen Mbombo that after she found out that a body was found on the koppie, she told Major General Mpembe and Major General Annandale that stage 3 should be executed the following day. “I expected them to carry out the disarmament but it was not done because Major General Mpembe got hold of Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa and Mr Senzeni Zokwana. On the 14th I did not know the mechanics of the plan,” she said.
Ms Le Roux said that Ms Mbombo, Maj. Gen Mpembe and Brig Calitz have not had any POP training after 1994 and that it is only Maj. Gen Annandale who received Public Order Policing (POP) training in 2000. Ms Le Roux added that most senior SAPS members in Marikana did not have occupational competence because they were not properly trained.
Lt Gen Mbombo said all these people continuously work in POP operations. “Major General Annandale works in the head office in the public order division, so he might not be trained but in practice he works with this. Mr Mpembe is always involved in POP operations in his job. Brigadier Calitz is in charge of POP. I don’t deny that training must be done continuously but I think if you do a job continuously then it gives you the necessary experience to be competent.
Ms Le Roux said the SAPS policy document states that SAPS members should be continuously trained and that as Provincial Commissioner, it is Ms Mbombo’s duty to ensure that they are continuously trained and that has not happened. The witness replied by saying that training is conducted by the head office. “I agree that it is my responsibility but it is not for me to know when the training intervention will be conducted. I am not sure how many of my officers will receive training. Training of POP members is not my responsibility but head office has endeavours being made to comply with policy. But it is not for me to say I want fifty of my officers to be trained. Powers I have in relation to POP is that their officers must go for in-service training once a week,” she continued.
Ms Mbombo said in the North West, they have a training division which only has records of in-service training and refresher courses and they do not have people who can train POP officers.
Systems we have are to manage the training received by police officers and to check what training they have not received. But if I see that my officers need training, it is not up to me to determine when they will be trained.
17 February 2014
Legal representative for the injured and arrested miners, Advocate Dali Mpofu continued cross examining Lt General Mbombo.
Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo agreed that it does not happen usually for the Minister of Police to talk to her. “The Minister called me on Sunday night and I don’t think the conversation lasted for 5 minutes. The minister asked if I was aware of the Lonmin issue and I said yes and I told him I was working on it. He did not tell me everything about his conversation with Mr Ramaphosa. He only said he received the call from Mr Ramaphosa telling him about what was happening in Lonmin.”
Ms Mbombo told the Commission that when she wrote her witness statement she did not remember telephone conversation she had with the Minister of Police. She said she only went to Roots on two occasions. On the first day of Roots I was not part of the discussions, I only officially opened the meeting and told everyone about its purpose and then left. At Roots I had forgotten the conversation I had with the Minister.
Advocate Mpofu told the witness that she prioritised herself with the counselling of police officers who laughed about dead bodies, removed weapons and one of them even said ‘these people should die’.
“Brigadier van Zyl together with the NDPP took steps to ensure that these people be charged with murder, instead of offering them counselling. I could not criticise the decision to charge them with murder because investigations were on-going,” she said. General Mbombo agreed that police officers were involved in the shooting of striking workers in Marikana but said she is not sure if all of the 34 deceased were killed by the police and she added that investigations will reveal all.
The Lieutenant General said as far as she knows, they do not have a service of counselling arrested people and that normally they approach Social Services for assistance. When asked why she did not take the arrested persons for counselling either internally or to a District Surgeon Ms Mbombo said it did not cross her mind then.
Mr Mpofu said there was a risk of deploying SAPS members who might have been trigger happy because of what they had been through, i.e. witnessing the killing of their colleagues on 13/08/2012. The witness said they were expecting a number of more police officers and those who felt they could not continue were allowed to go.
“One of the recommendations we are going to make in this Commission is that certain persons be charged with murder and because of your own actions or inactions, you are accused number four of those people,” charged the Advocate.
Lt Gen Mbombo was told by the Adv. that she missed an opportunity by Bishop Seoka when he came on a peace mission and she rejected it. Ms Mbombo said she disagrees.
“Had you not given the instruction on the 16th and the 13th of August 2012, 39 people who died on those two days might have been alive today,” said Advocate Dali Mpofu.
14 February 2014
Advocate Mpofu continued cross-examining the North West Police Commissioner.
When Lt Gen Mbombo was asked about Bishop Seoka’s planned intervention during the Marikana protest, she said when she spoke to Mr Joseph Mathunjwa she did not know about Bishop Seoka and that she only saw him when she went back to the JOC.
Mr Mpofu said Bishop Seoka was asked by strikers to help in facilitating discussions with management and to assist the strikers with bringing water for them to drink. Ms Mbombo said the bishop only asked her about some Mbombo family members and asked for water for the strikers. “Had Bishop Seoka made it clear that he wanted to talk about this matter and given me an alternative manner of dealing with it, then we would have taken this further; I would have given him a chance,” she said.
The witness was told that she missed opportunities aimed at achieving a peaceful end by both Mr Joseph Mathunjwa and Bishop Seoka and that they both accuse her of being rude and uncooperative. “Your personal omission to cooperate with both Mr Mathunjwa and Bishop Seoka’s peace missions was directly linked to the abandonment of interventions which could have prevented the bloodshed,” said Adv. Mpofu. Ms Mbombo disagreed.
General Mbombo was accused of not voicing any objection when Mr Mokwena from Lonmin said they will not negotiate with the workers and that she went along with Lonmin’s decision not to negotiate with the strikers. She said it was not her place to tell Lonmin what they had to do because they knew what their workers wanted. She said she just wanted Lonmin to do whatever it took to help solve the situation.
Adv. Mpofu said on 14/08/2012 Lonmin asked Lt Gen Mbombo for advice and she should have facilitated communication between Lonmin and the strikers. The witness said that SAPS does not go deep into the issues of a company and that SAPS does not dictate to companies on what they should say to their employees. “You not only failed to ask Lonmin management to engage with workers, but you agreed with them when they said they will not talk to the strikers,” charged Mr Mpofu.
The Lieutenant General said in a meeting that was held between herself, Lonmin and the National Police Commissioner, Lonmin was urged to do all in its powers to deal with the issue. She added that she did not think it was important for her to detail to Lonmin on what they had to do step by step.
Ms Mbombo testified that she is not aware of any other SAPS official, besides herself and Major General Mpembe, who attempted to persuade Lonmin to address the protesters. She further said she does not know how many people were taken for emotional assessment after the incident of 13/08/2012.
13 February 2014
Lieutenant General Mbombo was cross-examined by Advocate Dali Mpofu on behalf of the injured and arrested.
Adv. Mpofu said since Ms Mbombo held a managerial responsibility during the Marikana protest, she should not have involved herself in operational decisions such as deciding on the date of going tactical, especially since she does not have any crowd management experience.
“When something happens in the province and I am aware of it, I send people to attend to it. It is up to me to see how it is dealt with or executed. I agree that Standing Order 262 does not force me to be involved but it also does not preclude me from giving advice. I don’t have experience in investigations but it is my responsibility to ensure that people doing that job should do it quickly and effectively; so in certain cases I have to give advice,” she responded.
General Mbombo said the decision for the tactical phase in Marikana was one of the most important decisions in her career. She also said that she is one of the people who approved the SAPS opening statement and she also approved of it and made some inputs to it.
Mr Mpofu asked: “if there are deaths and it is found that police killed and they don’t have an explanation, should they then be charged with murder?” The Lt Gen agreed but said they will be charged with murder if there is hard evidence that they killed. “If our police appear to be involved in such criminality, we normally call on IPID and they take over the scene and they will then investigate the case. We send all cases of alleged police criminality to IPID and we don’t interfere in IPID’s matters.”
The advocate said he will argue that if police officers kill for no reason, they should be arrested and charged with murder as it would be the case with civilians.
“The fact that Major General Mpembe intended to send home all police officers who were involved in the operation of 13/08/2012 in Marikana, shows that it was foreseen that some people could be killed further,” charged the Advocate.
The legal counsel for the injured and arrested said had the North West police commissioner not given the instruction for the operation to be carried out on the 16th, as she did, there is a high possibility that 34 people would be alive today. “My instruction was dependent on how people on the ground would carry it out. My instruction was not for the police to kill people. In all the instances I give instructions to the police, I never direct on what exactly a police officer has to do, because I take it that I give instructions to people who know what we are talking about,” she replied.
11 February 2014
Advocate Schalk Burger on behalf of Lonmin commenced cross-examining Lieutenant General Mbombo on this day.
The North West Police Commissioner agreed that the Marikana tragedy was the most important event of her career. Ms Mbombo said she has a diary and that it is kept in her office and her secretary writes the notes in it. She further agreed that it is used to record important information.
Mr Burger told the witness that the police’s OB book had an entry on 14/08/2012 about the Disperse Disarm and Arrest (DDA) decision but this was not recorded in Ms Mbombo’s diary. The witness said she did not enter it because it was not a meeting but a briefing. “I’m not required to write down every decision I take in my diary.” She however accepted that writing it down could have been helpful.
“There was a peer review exercise and the Marikana incident was discussed. The National Commissioner was interested in the way the operation was conducted, especially what we were doing to help the SAPS officers who were there,” said General Mbombo.
The Lieutenant General said she is in charge of about 10 500 police officers throughout the North West province. She also said she manages a budget of R467 million, excluding salaries.
Ms Mbombo said since the Marikana incident, the SAPS in North West bought a mobile command centre and it is currently helping the SAPS when they have an operation. She also said that although it is not fully functional, it does cover a reasonable distance though not a large area.
“In addressing the problem of video recording since 16/08/2012, the SAPS acquired six or seven video cameras for each of the three POP units. Our Head Office trained additional police officers on the usage of the cameras,” continued the witness.
When asked about the ordering of hearses and 4000 rounds of ammunition, Lt Gen Mbombo said she did not know about the ordering of hearses and that it is not a normal thing to happen at police operations. “After I learnt about this, I asked the person responsible for ordering these and he said on the 13th he encountered problems when hearses were needed and he said it was not his instruction for them to come to Marikana. I did not know about the order of 4000 rounds of ammunition but after asking I was told they were sent back and were not used because there was no one to receive them.”
In fixing the command and control problem, Ms Mbombo said the head office is looking into fixing these problems and that some SAPS members have been taking for training. She also said if there is a need for her to do something, she will get the opportunity to do it after the Commission.
Advocate Heidi Barnes, on behalf of Amcu, commenced cross-examination.
Ms Mbombo said on 16/08/2012 she did not go to the ANC’s torch-bearing ceremony. She however agreed that she knew about the ceremony but she could not confirm if she was invited.
The Provincial Commissioner said she does not remember receiving the call from Major General Mpembe on 13/08/2012 saying that he will escort strikers to the koppie with their weapons, but she did not deny.
“According to the report I received, I was not told of any murder threats against Major General Mpembe. Later that evening I heard it being discussed among some SAPS members and that is when I followed it up. Mr Mpembe only told me when I questioned him about it. The reason I was doubtful is because I was not told by the person being threatened. If it was true, this was a very serious matter and I also regarded it seriously. Mr Mpembe said he did not suspect, see or hear people who could have wanted to kill him. I later spoke to Colonel Vermaak trying to understand the situation better and he said he saw Maj. Gen Mpembe’s emotional state as something that could cause problems and that is the reason he wanted to remove him from the scene. Vermaak could not say who had threatened Mpembe’s life. We will follow all allegations we receive,” continued Ms Mbombo.
Adv. Nicole Lewis, on behalf of families of the deceased, started her cross-examination.
Advocate Lewis told the witness that it would have been grossly negligent of SAPS not to do an internal review of its own after the Marikana incident. General Mbombo said SAPS has been waiting for the Marikana Commission to conclude its work before conducting their own internal review. “What about POP operations in the interim, many strikers have been killed this year and it is possible that the killings may have been avoided if a proper review of the Marikana incident was conducted,” continued Ms Lewis. The Lieutenant General said there are other interventions done by SAPS to avoid such incidents and these are not stemming from the Marikana internal review.
10 February 2014
Advocate George Bizos continued cross-examining Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo.
Mr Bizos told the witness that involvement of politicians should not have influenced Lt Gen Mbombo in any way. The witness agreed and said it did not. “As Provincial Commissioner I take responsibility for what police officers do while working under my command.”
General Mbombo admitted that she gave the order for the strikers to be disarmed but that it was up to individuals on the ground on how this was to be effected. She further said that when talking to the strikers at the koppie, the police’s aim was for the strikers to hand over the weapons and if the weapons were to be left at the koppie then the police were to remain at there and collect them. She however added that the strikers were not prevented from returning to gather at the koppie.
“The aim of people who went to the koppie to negotiate was for us to get weapons peacefully from the strikers. I don’t deny that disarming the strikers at the koppie along the way could have been a good idea, but there were indications that we could get the weapons from the koppie,” she said.
Lt Gen Mbombo agreed that a knobkerrie is a symbol of manliness in Xhosa culture and it does not mean you are going to kill people if you are carrying it.
The witness told the Commission that as far as she knows, Colonel Scott together with his team drew up the police plan and that she approved it but Major General Mpembe affixed his signature approving the plan. She further said that if the people who had gathered illegally at the koppie had dangerous weapons, it then becomes the police’s responsibility to protect everyone including themselves.
“On 16/08/2012 during the Marikana protest the police were basically saying to the strikers that, ‘we have helicopters, R4’s, R5’s, police vehicles, we are in control and you can’t mess with us, you strikers must go back to work,” asked Adv. Bizos. The Lieutenant General disagreed.
06 February 2014
Advocate Geoff Budlender cross-examined Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo on this day.
Lt Gen Mbombo said she was told that some of the strikers had undergone rituals to make them ‘stronger and invincible’. She however said she has no expertise in rituals and she therefore did not know what their effects would be. Ms Mbombo said she nonetheless took the rituals into account in making the decisions she did. “I told the police generals that even if those things are there, what matters is we have to come up with a plan to retrieve the weapons without putting people’s lives in danger. I meant they should consider everything and take all the information into account.”
A video clip was shown to the Commission wherein Gen Mbombo says ‘today we are going to end the strike.’ She explained that this was a slip of the tongue and she meant to say ‘today we are ending the violence.’
When Adv. Budlender told the witness that the encirclement plan could not be implemented because she told the world that everything will end on Thursday; she replied by saying that she issues instructions to people she works with but they have an opportunity to get back to her if they realise that the instructions will cause problems.
General Mbombo explained the risks associated with implementing the Disperse, Disarm and Arrest plan at 13:30. “I knew there could be some problems and one of them was if people don’t accept the notices to be made before the usage of teargas and stun-grenades maybe they would move forward to fight. They said the wire would help in that respect. If they run out of teargas they said they would use water cannons and possibly rubber bullets. They said they would try to avoid any spilling of blood, except if it is beyond their control. They said they would try their level best to do all in their powers to execute the plan. They said if things go beyond their control, they mentioned that TRT might have to help if conditions permitted. The TRT were called to Marikana to get involved in the operation during dispersal.”
Ms Mbombo agreed that in one of their meetings, it was mentioned that if TRT was to be involved then there would be bloodshed since they only carry sharp ammunitions. “One of the reasons TRT was called to Marikana was so that they could protect POP if it was so needed. They have sharp ammunition and they are trained to use them with care,” she added.
The witness testified that the people involved in the planning, assured her that the plan was to be executed with necessary care to avoid bloodshed. She said this was told to her by Major General Mpembe and General Annandale on Thursday morning.
“On circumstances that prevailed, to implement the Disperse, Disarm and Arrest plan was reckless because it was almost certainly going to lead to injuries or death,” said Adv. Budlender. Lt Gen Mbombo disagreed and said the plan was dependent on people who were going to execute it at the koppie; because they were supposed to look at circumstances and all problematic points and take a decision on situational appropriateness.
“There was a risk of bloodshed but I was advised that care would be taken to keep it to a minimum. During discussions it was mentioned that people could be injured but we insisted that that is not what we wanted and they assured us that every endeavour would be made to reduce this to a minimum,” testified Ms Mbombo.
General Mbombo said on the 12th of August 2012 Mr Cyril Ramaphosa called the Minister of Police Mr Nathi Mthethwa to raise his concerns regarding the Marikana protest. “When the Minister called me, I think he wanted me to understand that there are people who were concerned about what was happening and I told him that attention was being given to the situation. On the 13/08/2012 after the tragedy between the police and the strikers I called the Minister of Police to inform him,” said the witness.
On the matter of Warrant Officer Myburgh, which was sent to IPID, General Mbombo said she has not yet followed it up because she does not want to interfere with IPID’s work.
Lieutenant General Mbombo said she has received Col Vermaak’s letter and she tasked Major General Mpembe and Brigadier Calitz to look into the matter. She said if Major Gen Mpembe denies this then he may have forgotten.
Ms Mbombo said the problems she has seen during the Marikana operation are the communication system and issues with footages. She said the deaths of 34 people and the 78 people who were injured were unexpected. “The operation appears to have been a failure because it did not achieve the desired results. We also had a command and control problem at the operation and had it gone according to plan across all levels, then maybe people’s lives would have been spared,” she said.
Advocate George Bizos commenced cross-examining Lt Gen Mbombo.
Mr Bizos asked why all senior police officials have managed to be blind and deaf while people were being killed in Marikana on 16/08/2012. “From the early days of apartheid until the Sharpeville massacre, senior SAPS officials have managed to be away from killings so that they can say they are not responsible. You and your senior colleagues are following the example of police apartheid leaders,” said the Advocate.
General Mbombo denied this and said since she started working for the SAPS, she has been taught to respect the rights of people and that is the information she conveyed to other SAPS members.
04 February 2014
North West Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo was cross-examined by Advocate Geoff Budlender.
Lt Gen Mbombo told the Commission that the fact that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa called the Minister of Police, did not affect the way in which she works. “If Mr Ramaphosa’s status was not important, then why did you mention that he is politically high?” asked Advocate Budlender. The witness replied by saying that what was important to her was that there was a problem and it was raised with the Minister. She further said that many people call the Minister to complain about policing problems.
“On the Malema issue, my goal was for us to do what we had to do to solve the problem. I was explaining that Lonmin should know that their workers depend on them to help solve the impasse,” she said.
Ms Mbombo said it was important for the police to know of issues such as nationalisation and what its effects would be on the protest action. She said she wanted Lonmin to explain to her what the effects would be. General Mbombo confirmed that it was her decision that disarming will only take place if there is an escalation of violence but said that the operation was dependent on those who were charged with implementing it.
Advocate Budlender said it was misleading when Major General Mpembe told Ms Mbombo that negotiations had failed because the Police’s OB book shows that negotiations were on-going. “The report he gave me was not totally misleading,” said Lt Gen Mbombo.