Mthethwa starts testifying at Marikana inquiry

2014-07-14 10:57
Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa  (Picture: Sapa)

Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa has started testifying on the role of the SA Police Service during the Marikana strike, at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Monday.

Mthethwa's evidence pertains to his role in police interventions during the strike by Lonmin miners in the North West in August 2012.

In his sworn statement to the inquiry, Mthethwa, who is now arts and culture minister, expressed sadness to families who lost members at Marikana, and South Africa in general.

"My conduct throughout the Marikana incident was underpinned by the principles of constitutional segregation of the role of the minister of police from that of the national commissioner of police," he said.

"I took steps to ensure that I was kept informed about the political developments as they unfolded at Marikana and the concerns raised with me relating thereto."

‘Mthethwa gave political support’

In March last year, Mthethwa's leadership role before and after the 16 August shootings were questioned at the inquiry when national police commissioner Riah Phiyega was cross-examined by then evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga SC.

Madlanga asked what specific support Mthethwa gave Phiyega at Marikana on 16 August, when police shot dead 34 striking miners, apparently while trying to disperse and disarm them.

Phiyega said: "He gave us political support."

Madlanga responded: "Am I right to say you cannot be specific on the political direction, nor can you be specific on the political support you received from the police minister?"

Madlanga said Phiyega's evidence did not suggest any initiative by the minister.

"What, if anything, did the minister of police do about the killings at Marikana?" Madlanga asked.
Phiyega responded: "My minister was personally here. The minister was part of the inter-ministerial committee that did a lot of work in the commission... In his political role he gave us political support."

However, Madlanga said he wanted to know what the minister did prior to the 16 August killings.

Once again, Phiyega referred him to her statement, adding that Mthethwa gave her and her operational team support, though he was not involved in operations.

Mthethwa informed through normal reporting

The commission heard it was necessary for Phiyega to inform Mthethwa about the "killing of human beings that are of an unusually high scale".

Phiyega said she kept Mthethwa informed in her "normal reporting" to him about what was happening at Marikana through phone calls and internal notices and statements.

Madlanga tried to establish whether Phiyega had called Mthethwa by midnight on 13 August about the five people killed at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana. She kept referring him to her statement.

Phiyega said: "In my statements I mentioned dates and I have said that I continuously gave updates to the minister."

Madlanga responded: "General, this is a simple question... Did you inform the minister by midnight on 13 August of the five killings?"

Speaking softly, Phiyega said: "I informed the minister on what happened at Marikana since the ninth. I can't remember if I called him at 12 midnight on 13 August."

Mthethwa was police minister when 34 people, mostly striking Lonmin mineworkers, were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August 2012.

More than 70 were wounded, and another 250 arrested at the company's platinum mining operations in Marikana, near Rustenburg.

In the preceding week, 10 people, including two policemen and the two security guards, were killed.

The commission is investigating the 44 deaths during the strike-related violence.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to testify at the inquiry later this month.

See the latest here from Mthethwa's testimony as reporters tweet.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  nathi mthethwa  |  ian farlam  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  marikana inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.