Phiyega to testify on Thursday: Farlam

By Drum Digital
13 March 2013

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega will not give evidence before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday, said its chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam.

"The national commissioner will not be giving evidence today but tomorrow [Thursday]," Farlam said after the lunch adjournment.

Phiyega arrived at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on Wednesday morning and waited all day to give evidence before the commission, said Makhosini Nkosi, the commission's consultant to her.

"The national commissioner is here and will give evidence when the re-examination [of Lonmin miner Mzoxolo Magidiwana] is completed," Nkosi said earlier in the day.

"She is waiting to be called by the commission."

However, advocate Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, later indicated he would take all afternoon to re-examine Magidiwana, who was wounded in the shooting at Marikana on August 16.

The commission is probing the deaths of 44 people during an unprotected strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana. On August 16, 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead and 78 were injured when the police opened fire while trying to disperse a group gathered on a hill near the mine.

Ten people, including two police officers and two security guards, were killed near the mine in the preceding week.

Nkosi said Phiyega denied reports that she laughed and joked when footage of the shooting was shown in October.

The Times reported that Phiyega joked with a state law adviser while a prelude to the killings was being screened.

The commission adjourned for lunch on Wednesday after Magidiwana broke down and cried when new footage was screened.

"It is terrible," said Farlam. "Even if he is prepared to carry on, I don't know if we should subject him to further interrogation."

Said Mpofu: "It is definitely new footage although it shows old footage. It is definitely new footage," he said.

The eNews footage is of the shooting, with a reporter on the scene explaining what is happening.

The hearing continues.

-by Sapa

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