Phiyega: Not confirmed cops shot miners

2013-04-17 14:20

Rustenburg - It is unconfirmed that police officers shot dead 34 striking mineworkers in Marikana on 16 August last year, the Farlam Commission heard on Wednesday.

"I cannot say those 34 people were killed by the police... and to say who was shot by whom. I am not [in] a position to say," said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

Phiyega, who was under cross-examination at the commission's hearings in Rustenburg, requested that she not be asked questions she could not answer.

Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the families of the deceased miners, was questioning her.

A family member of one of the dead miners broke down and cried. She was removed from the auditorium.


Ntsebeza said he was trying to establish whether there was any consistency in the way Phiyega performed her duties.

He questioned her on why she had ordered the suspension of the Daveyton police officials implicated in the death of minibus taxi driver Mido Macia.

Macia was dragged behind a police van in February. A video clip depicting the incident went viral.

Macia was later found dead in the cells of the local police station.

"Sufficient evidence was at my disposal [to warrant a suspension]," said Phiyega.

She told the commission that none of the police officers who were present during the fatal shooting of the 34 striking mineworkers had been suspended.

"We as the SA Police Service (Saps) have not charged anyone," said Phiyega.


Relatives of the mineworkers gasped at her statement.

Commission chairperson retired judge Ian Farlam gave them a stern warning to stop disrupting proceedings with audible comments, or be removed.

Phiyega told the commission that if any charge were to be laid against police, it would come as an instruction from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

Earlier, Ntsebeza questioned Phiyega on whether she had done any courses linked to police management and administration.

Phiyega, who has qualifications in business administration and social work, told him that her qualifications allowed her to manage any department, whether it be private or public.

"My skills are portable," she said.

The commission is investigating the incidents that led to the deaths of 44 people during a wage-related strike at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in August last year.

  • BrandonF - 2013-04-17 14:25

    HOLY MOLEY WOMAN... that's a whopper by any standards.

      Dave Elmore - 2013-04-17 14:50

      Phiyega, who was under cross-examination at the commission's hearings in Rustenburg, requested that she not be asked questions she could not answer. That whopper BrandonF?

      Gerald Umraw - 2013-04-17 15:09

      unfortunately SAPS needs someone with hands on experience in policing instead of someone with business administration. Its a hands on service meaning you must get down and dirty (not corrupt) to effectively manage the service and its people. A business administration certificate does not equip you to handle the pressures of actively managing one of the most crucial services in a country. This lady needs to resign and the job given to someone who can manage that service with a vision to serve and protect the citizens of South Africa. Also I am stunned at her comments to ask her questions she can answer. Wow if that was the case how would this commission get down to establishing the truth about what happened at Marikana. I guess your business admin certificate did not prepare you to think outside the box...did it now! I wonder what would happen if we were graded on what we actually knew in school or university based on the reckoning of our police commissioner.

      ingwe - 2013-04-17 15:47

      Sorry! Gerald is she in the position to ensure the safety of the citizens or JZ and the Government?

      Bontle Gape - 2013-04-17 15:51

      So some of the miner shot themselves it that what she is saying?

  • Ian Despy - 2013-04-17 14:28

    What a joke this minister is......never seems to know anything.

      Ducatisti - 2013-04-17 14:33

      Police Commissioner not Minister

      Jenifer Johnstone - 2013-04-17 15:47

      sadick i've never heard such nonsense .Ian she cant know anything she most probably has been OBE educated

      Rodney Bevan - 2013-04-17 16:35

      Sadick, it goes on as long as she fails to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. What kind of person attends a meeting without all the facts at their fingertips? By now every single bullet will have been checked against all the weapons used that day, to say she can't say who shot whom is utter nonsense. Try using the answer she gave " Please don't ask me questions I don't know the answer to" next time your boss asks you a question and see how long you still have a job. As commissioner it is her responsibility to know the answers, or at least know someone who does whom she can call on. Like the rest of the ANC cadre deployees, she is useless at her job and should be sacked immediately.

      Alexander Dowding - 2013-04-17 17:54

      It has become patently clear that Riah Phiyega is neither qualified nor capable of being in her post. She needs to do the honorable thing and step down. Allow someone with the necessary experience to take your place Riah. Please for the love of our country do the right thing!

  • Gary5 - 2013-04-17 14:28

    So autopsies not done to match the rounds with legal issued police arms? Have the police arms been conficated to do balistics on? What is going on Another cover up?

  • Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 14:33

    Thats our police general guys....another winner

      Colin Dovey - 2013-04-17 15:07

      Name just ONE of Zuma's choices which have passed muster........SA has become a leaderless quagmire, wallowing in ineptitude and a scary lack of integrity!

      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 15:18

      its jobs for friends...easy as that, doesnt matter if they cant do the job. that is why everything run by the ANC, is f#$ked!!!

      Jenifer Johnstone - 2013-04-17 15:42

      like the powder general from the army .hahahaha!!!!!!!!

      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 15:46

      @Jenifer Exactly like the powder general, they come from the same hole!

  • Luyolo Mgodi - 2013-04-17 14:36

    Something that was captured on video?? Played all over the world over and over again? Seem like not only your hairline is gone Ms Commissioner, and your brains too!!

  • Sonny Jacobs - 2013-04-17 14:36

    I cannot say those 34 people were killed by the police... and to say who was shot by whom. I am not [in] a position to say," No maybe the Boeremag did it! The English sing "God save our gracious queen......" we sing Gos help us!

  • Jennifer DuPreez Martin - 2013-04-17 14:38

    They don't tell you much do they, well, it seems your train ride is coming to a close ma'am I spot a fall girl

  • calliedj - 2013-04-17 14:38

    Selebi, Cele, Phiyega. Dom, dommer, domste. Tot die volgende aanstelling!

      Erna - 2013-04-17 15:18

      That's as far as it goes - domste.

      calliedj - 2013-04-18 10:49

      Dan skuif hulle almal een trappie op: Dommerig, dom, dommer, domste.

  • paul.kershaw.18 - 2013-04-17 14:40

    This poor poor sad country. It is in crisis.

  • Andre Burrows - 2013-04-17 14:41

    Well chosen cadre cANCer, she says all the right things. Keep struggling comrades.

  • Alpheus Nethononda - 2013-04-17 14:42

    Why do we always scrape the bottom of the barrel for chief of our police? Selebi, Bheki Cele.......list go on and on

  • Gifted Moyo - 2013-04-17 14:43

    Typical. So typical. So many out there believe they are qualified to manage any sector when they cant even manage their own bowel movements.

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-04-17 14:49

    But u said police shot the miners in self defence? Now u don't know who killed the miners after 8 months? And then u are telling the commissioners not to ask u the questions that u can't answer? So which questions must be asked? Now bring mthethwa over

  • Lucky Ndzoyiya - 2013-04-17 14:50

    ubhidwe yinja ukuvuthwa loMama ufana nje Nopilato

  • Vusi Nhlabathi - 2013-04-17 14:50


      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 14:56

      hahahahahaha brilliant

  • Bob Wowzer - 2013-04-17 14:52

    What a waste of time and money. It'd be interesting to know how much this commission has cost thus far. In an ideal world Farlam would have determined on day one that the miners were in the wrong, deserved their fate and subsequently thrown out the commission right there and then.

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-04-17 15:49

      In an ideal world police protect striking workers.

      Bob Wowzer - 2013-04-17 16:52

      Where were the striking workers? All I saw was rampaging savages...

  • musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-17 14:57

    Phiyega has turn the Farlam Commission into a circus, I hope I am not the only one who impresses that way

  • Justin Rose - 2013-04-17 15:01

    Your skills are portable like a portable toilet. The Commissioner they know how to pick them. The first thing you learn in GOVT, deny, deny deny and my old favourites "we will leave not stone unturned" "I will treat that statement with the contempt it deserves" "Can you repeat the question" "I have no recollection your honour" "that's not me in the photo" giggle...

  • Louisvr - 2013-04-17 15:04

    This woman is an embarrassment to the country and will never have any credibility again. Lock her up or, preferably, away.

  • Tmash Brown - 2013-04-17 15:06

    Is she brain dead? I cant believe it.

  • Fezile Russ - 2013-04-17 15:11


  • Jammies Jamneck - 2013-04-17 15:11

    You right mum...I also saw the alien spaceship leaving the scene after the shooting..... Commisioner please don't ask this lady any more questions...the world is watching..

      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 15:21


  • Frans Mosia - 2013-04-17 15:14

    This is what happens when incompetent incumbents are employed.

  • Winston En Ria Worthington - 2013-04-17 15:16

    Are the SAPS, (Saps) as referred to in this article?

  • James Smythe - 2013-04-17 15:18

    It may conceivably be possible that not all the victims were shot by police but this is a weak and evasive answer, as are most of this woman's responses so far. However the question which has never been answered (or asked) is, why has there been no investigation and disciplinary action against the undisciplined rabble of the SAPS who opened fire without orders and in panic?

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-04-17 15:50

      There was no panic James, they were following orders.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-17 15:59

      police followed an order from the operation commander....

  • Sakhiwo - 2013-04-17 15:18

    Ufunukuthini kanye?I think she's tired of the cross exams.

  • Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2013-04-17 15:24

    this hairless woman is mad

  • Louis Van Rensburg - 2013-04-17 15:25

    This woman is becoming a bigger embarrassment to the country that her predecessors and Julius and JZ combined. She claims her skills are portable - yes - a portable potty!

  • Snakes Mamba - 2013-04-17 15:28

    That's ANC always full of corruption,we saw those police killing those people,or mybe is aliens yaaaaaa ne[

  • Zwelakhe Sithole - 2013-04-17 15:28

    Has she read the terms of reference of the commission? The commission is not there to determine who shot the miners. The police did and she has already tajen responsibility for that and praised the police for job well done. What is wrong with JZ's administrator? I think we are already a Banana Republic.

      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 15:30

      True that

  • Winifred Watson - 2013-04-17 15:29

    Zuma is as much to blame as she is, He should be called on to explain to the world how he could put this lady into such a high position, when in fact other people who have served all their lives in the police force were side lined. She came from ABSA BANK for heavens sake, what credential does she have to be able to take such a top post, except a friend of zuma or one of his many wives. Zuma should be called to testify, look at all those he has flewn to the top of the tree, look at the disaster he has created. Zuma came to power owing too many favours and by paying back these favours, he has made himself look incompetant through those he appointed.

      Charl Malan - 2013-04-17 15:35

      Jobs for pals, simple as that, he does not give a f$%k

  • Martin Band - 2013-04-17 15:30

    Can only agree with Gary5's comments. It seems like all the miners died from shock at being shot at, because there is no physical evidence it would appear that the police actually shot them, maybe it was the THIRD force. It is so sad for our top cop to say something like she did. Pack your bags lady, you really need to go. But please do not be redeployed to the anywhere in the public service.

  • Phiko Garetshi - 2013-04-17 15:42

    Mxm what a joke Madem.

  • Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-17 15:55

    with all this circus happening, the presidency is mum about this *well everyone in Government are clowns*

  • Lenox Ntlantsana - 2013-04-17 16:07

    Hayi I don't know anymore who was gonna shoot at the miners if it wasn't gonna be the police! This is a pathetic statement I've heard by far!

  • Madoda Yuri Siqebengu - 2013-04-17 16:11

    This girl must just leave the saps and her boss the shower man must do the same.

  • Suthveer Sing - 2013-04-17 16:17

    The Miners just collapsed and died after Seeing the Pigs!

  • Suthveer Sing - 2013-04-17 16:33

    So all the video footage of the miners being shot was false!!! Or these were not cops but people who stole the uniforms and weapons from the Marikana police station!

  • Summer Turns - 2013-04-17 17:40

    I think its fair to say we are now at the final phases of the cycle of politics that George Orwell detailed in Animal Farm. What she is confirming is that, there is one law for SA citizens but the government officials and politicians are superior from it. So I hope there is another Old Major out there planning for another reform to re-start the cycle. As for me I know that SA redemption does not lie on the politicans and therefore have chosen to put my energy where my salvation comes from. Peace people and good luck on trying to find a better Commissioner.

  • Mandla Mfanta - 2013-04-17 18:21

    The investigation has been done long ago in Marikana. I know for the fact that the report has been submitted to the National Commiossioner. The Police confirmed after the investigaion that all 34 striking miners who died on that day were actually killed by the Police. For her to say she doesn't know that i'ts a big lie. The commissios must not allow this.

  • Jaco Engelbrecht - 2013-04-17 18:42

    "Phiyega, who has qualifications in business administration and social work, told him that her qualifications allowed her to manage any department, whether it be private or public..."My skills are portable," she said." 1.Portable skills? Well, that applies to all ANC cadres of course and see what a massive f*ckup they've made of the civil service. 2. If her diploma in business administration was of any serious value she would have understood that 'portable' skills apply only in few situations and most assuredly not in a specialised police service which is steeped in a culture of aggression, corruption & mismanagement for political gains not to ignore the fact that a significant proportion is incompetent with a total disregard of service to citizens and human rights. This woman is a fool even more than I had imagined! Pathetic!!

  • Crystelle J Rooi - 2013-04-21 07:16

    experts like the learnered countrymen moaning and complaining criticing someone in the position of our commissioner is doing what they usualy do best and that is to sit around having tea parties and entertaining media frenzy sensationalism inconstructively as if it would make any difference to what has happened on that epic day and these tea party dolls where sitting in the safety of their homes and luxury comfortzones seeking a media frenzy to stuff their faces with for entertainment cozthey cant find anything better to do... nothing more from anyone is expected to do what they have to in order to bring the inquiry reasonably to level of understanding to the families of the belated colleagues and comrates, miners, securities, police and even the innocent who had to bear the fatal consequences of the actions that was taken in the overwhelming atmosphere and sittuations individuals found themselves in due to the fact that people as a whole gets caught up in unfortunate circumstances only when it is to late to realise it... for both sides of reason to this affair for the people who is taking the responsibilty to do what is needed can only be done by them in the way their discression allows them. As someone who knows the view from all sides of a sittuation as this i think we need to do much better than what ive found to have read here about a job most of commentators on hear has no clue about.. andnot just the job of the commisioner but the type of duty of all parties involved.

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