No internal Marikana probe: Phiyega

By Drum Digital
18 April 2013

The SA Police Service did not conduct any internal investigation following the Marikana shootings last year, the Farlam Commission heard on Thursday.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said the Saps believed preparations for the Farlam Commission of Inquiry would form part of their own investigations.

"Our interpretation was that our preparation for this commission would form part of our review and it would produce the same results [that we would have received had we done an internal investigation]," said Phiyega.

President Jacob Zuma announced on August 17, 2012 -- a day after 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead by police -- that a commission would be established.

Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the families of the deceased miners, questioned Phiyega on what part of Zuma's statement made her believe it was no longer necessary to conduct further investigations.

"Was the announcement sufficient enough for you to think you shouldn't conduct your own internal review?

"So you decided to collapse what would have been an internal investigation... because you thought this commission would form part of your investigation," asked Ntsebeza.

"Yes," said Phiyega.

"We interpreted it in that manner. Whether you accept that interpretation as right or wrong is [something else]," said Phiyega.

The commission, sitting in Rustenburg, is tasked with investigating the events that led to the killing of 44 people during the wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in August last year.

-by Sapa

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