Phiyega defends NW police chief

2013-04-02 12:23
Riah Phiyega (File: AP)

Riah Phiyega (File: AP)

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Rustenburg - The North West police head did not need permission for statements she made prior to the Marikana shooting, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

This was the testimony of National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega under cross-examination by George Bizos, for the Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation.

Bizos recounted North West police commissioner General Zukiswa Mbombo as saying before the shooting: "Today, we are ending this matter."

Hours later, police fired on striking miners, killing 34 at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in North West on 16 August last year.


Phiyega said on Tuesday: "She (Mbombo) is the highest, most senior person (of the police) and had the right, responsibility, and mandate to make the statement."

When she met Mbombo the day before, they agreed the striking miners had to be dispersed and their weapons collected.

"There was a plan... The plan was disrupted," said Phiyega.

She said the police's initial plan was not to kill anyone or to use live ammunition.

Bizos asked Phiyega whether she had ordered a probe into the possible tampering of evidence submitted about the shooting.

She confirmed that she ordered the investigation on 20 October and had received a report a month later.

Further progress had been made in the investigations and a new, updated report had been compiled. The updated report was to be made available to the commission later during the day.

The public hearing in Rustenburg by the commission is part of its inquiry into the Marikana events.

Read more on:    police  |  zukiswa mbombo  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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