A senior police officer who spoke out about the police’s handling of the Marikana massacre — and described it as defined by incompetence and cover-ups — is now accused of deliberately lying to the Farlam inquiry. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is accusing air-wing commander Lt-Col Salmon Vermaak of lying to the Farlam commission by allegedly failing to disclose that "he gave instructions to junior officers to shoot at a group of striking miners who were fleeing and/or running towards the main koppie and/or [the] nearby informal settlement". This is contained in one of the indictments that was filed in court on Thursday in connection with the Marikana tragedy. In other words‚ the state is accusing Vermaak of giving orders that fleeing miners be shot in the back. It further alleges that this resulted in the death of Pumzile Sokanyile‚ a father of five who was shot in the head. Upon hearing of his death‚ Sokanyile’s mother collapsed and died on her way to hospital. Vermaak ha...

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