Marikana: Phiyega 'not ready to apologise'

2013-05-27 14:35

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is not ready to acknowledge and apologise for the police action in Marikana last year, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry has heard.

“Your attitude is typical of the undesirable behaviour of officialdom. You don’t acknowledge and apologise, even for the blatant instructions,” said Dali Mpofu, for the wounded and arrested miners.

“You haven’t said sorry. All you have said is that you never said that you are not sorry,” Mpofu said while cross-examining her today.

The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people during unrest near Lonmin’s platinum mine last year. On August 16, police shot dead 34 miners. In the preceding week, 10 people, including two police officers and security guards, were killed.

Mpofu questioned Phiyega about an article in the Sowetan newspaper, in which she was quoted as saying that police should not be sorry about shooting dead the miners. She was speaking at the funeral of warrant officer Sello Lepaku on August 20, one of those killed in the unrest.

Mpofu said Phiyega’s failure to take legal or other steps to refute the statements attributed to her was not consistent with her rejection of the report.

“I disagree with the statement,” Phiyega said.

Mpofu then asked Phiyega why it was difficult for her to say she was sorry. Phiyega said she had already responded individually to the issues Mpofu had raised.

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