Don't be sorry: Phiyega

By Drum Digital
20 August 2012

Police officers should not be sorry about the shooting near the Lonmin Platinum mine in Marikana, Rustenburg, which left 34 protesting miners dead, police commissioner Riah Phiyega said, according to a report on Monday.

"Safety of the public is not negotiable. Don't be sorry about what happened," Phiyega was quoted as saying by the Sowetan newspaper.

She was speaking at policeman Warrant Officer Sello Ronnie Lepaku's funeral on Sunday.

Lepaku was one of the officers who was killed, allegedly by protesting Lonmin miners last Monday.

On Thursday, 34 striking workers were shot dead in a clash with police near the mine in an attempt to disperse them from a hilltop where they had gathered.

"We confront, every day, heartless criminals who are gunning for our lives," she said.

Phiyega urged police officers to be cautious and vigilant and to wear bullet proof vests, shields and helmets at all times.

"You can put yourselves in danger a thousand times and come out unscathed or just once and not make it. You never know in advance how things will turn out and that is our line of work."

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