Marikana commission in recess

2013-03-28 21:03
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - The Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the death of 44 people during wage-related protests in Marikana, North West, will resume its public hearings in Rustenburg next week, after the Easter holiday.

National police chief Riah Phiyega would still be on the witness stand when the commission resumes on Tuesday, its spokesperson Tshepo Mahlangu said on Thursday.

Phiyega was being cross-examined by advocate George Bizos when the commission adjourned on Thursday.

Families of the Lonmin mineworkers who were shot on 16 August left Rustenburg on Wednesday, heading for their homes in the Eastern Cape.

The three-member commission's chairperson, retired judge Ian Farlam, said the families would rejoin the public hearings on 16 April.

"I understand they have made great sacrifices by coming here to be present at the sittings," said Farlam.

Meanwhile, SA Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi, said there was no decision yet to demilitarise the police.

"The SAPS is considering all policy proposals contained in the National Development Plan (NDP) that are relevant to it. Once a decision has been made in this regard, it will be communicated via the proper government channels," he said.

This week, Phiyega said plans were in place for the demilitarisation of the police under the NDP.

She said this while being cross-examined at the commission by evidence leader advocate Mbuyiseli Madlanga.

He asked her about her efforts to bring the SAPS in line with recommendations contained in the NDP.

Reading several extracts of the plan, Madlanga said it called for "an urgent demilitarisation" of the police service.

"The re-militarisation of the police in recent years has not garnered greater community respect, nor has it secured high conviction rates," he read.

"Certainly, a paramilitary police force does not augur well for a capable developmental state. The commission believes that the police should be demilitarised. Do you see that?"

Phiyega agreed.

Asked whether she agreed with the NDP recommendations, the police chief said: "I think you are asking me a binding and difficult question.

"I have said that the SAPS, like other sectors, have noted the recommendations and are looking at implementing them."

- SAPA

Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  ian farlam  |  george bizos  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry
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