Marikana findings: Phiyega remains mum

2015-08-01 08:37
Riah Phiyega (File picture: Beeld)

Riah Phiyega (File picture: Beeld)

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Cape Town - National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega failed to respond to the outcomes of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry by the deadline set by President Jacob Zuma.

By 22:00 on Friday, Phiyega had not yet submitted her reply to the findings as requested after the report of the inquiry was released on June 25, the Presidency said in a statement.

“As part of the process of implementing the recommendations of the commission, President Zuma wrote to the Phiyega, drawing her attention to the findings and recommendations of the commission regarding her conduct and that of certain senior SAPS officials.

“The president invited General Phiyega to send him her comments and views on the report by no later than July 31 to enable the president to determine whether any intervention was warranted, and the nature of such intervention.”

Neither police spokespersons Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo nor Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale were immediately available for comment on Saturday.

The commission, headed by retired judge Ian Farlam, had been tasked to investigate the deaths of 44 people killed during strike-related unrest at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, Rustenburg in August 2012.

Commission's findings

During an attempt to disperse the strikers, police shot and killed 34 striking mineworkers on August 16 2012 while 10 people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week.

Police said the miners had charged at them, resulting in them opening fire. But the commission's findings suggested that the police service had lied to the commission about its tactical plan to disperse the mineworkers.

"The police leadership did not initially disclose to the commission, the fact that the original plan was not capable of being implemented on the first date and that it had been abandoned," Zuma said when the report was released last month.

"In addition, police leadership did not inform the commission that the decision to go ahead with the tactical option, if the strikers did not voluntarily lay down their arms and disperse, was taken at the national management forum meeting on August 15.

"Instead, they informed the commission that this decision was taken on the 16th of August, and only after the situation had escalated."

An initial plan, meant to be implemented in the early morning of August 16 was abandoned by police for the tactical operation, which led to the shooting.

Phiyega said she would respond to the president in a statement issued last Sunday, claiming the police had “picked up some of the areas where we strongly disagree with the content of the report, such as the insinuation that management went to work that day with murderous intent”.

Read more on:    riah phiyega  |  jacob zuma  |  marikana inquiry

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