Phiyega laughs as Marikana footage is shown

2012-10-24 09:53
Police commissioner Riah Phiyega (File, Sapa)

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega reportedly laughed and joked as footage of the killing of 34 miners in a clash with police was screened at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, The Times reported on Wednesday.

Phiyega reportedly joked with a state law adviser as a prelude to the killings was screened at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

Surrounded by her senior officers, Phiyega smiled as she watched.

It was only after screams of horror echoed across the room, as the footage was played without any warning, that Phiyega's "humorous demeanour changed to that of an ice queen, blatantly ignoring the wailing families", the report continued.

"...Phiyega stared straight ahead, ignoring a widow screaming at her for answers about her husband's death," the newspaper reported.

"Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?" the woman screamed at her.

Later she was seen comforting one of the widows of the two policemen killed ahead of the August 16 shooting.

Asked repeatedly for comment on why she did not help those upset, and what she had been joking about, Phiyega said: "I am not here for that. I am here for the commission and the commission only."

Bishop Jo Seroka, a talks facilitator for the miners, said: "She sat there laughing and did nothing. You would expect a sense of remorse and empathy which was non-existent."

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