Phiyega call for unrest review ignored

2013-04-18 13:49
Riah Phiyega (Deaan Vivier, Beeld)

Riah Phiyega (Deaan Vivier, Beeld)

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Rustenburg - An instruction for police to review their handling of public unrest was ignored at Marikana, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega signed the document giving the order weeks before the unrest at Marikana in August.

On 16 August, police shot dead 34 striking miners near Lonmin's platinum mine.

The instruction was that a high-ranking police officer had to compile a report on how public unrest cases were handled.

"Our interpretation was that our preparation for this commission would form part of our review and it would produce the same results [as a police probe]," Phiyega said while being cross-examined by Dumisa Ntsebeza, for the families of the dead miners.

No internal review

Ntsebeza criticised Phiyega for failing to have a full internal review conducted.

"The proper way to have done this would have been for you to ensure that a proper review is done and that those results are presented to this commission."

Ntsebeza said it was inconceivable that Phiyega failed to have her instructions carried out.

President Jacob Zuma announced on 17 August that a commission would investigate the Marikana violence.

"Was the announcement [by Zuma] sufficient enough for you to think you shouldn't conduct your own internal review?" Ntsebeza asked.

"So you decided to collapse what would have been an internal investigation... because you thought this commission would form part of your investigation?"

The commission, sitting in Rustenburg, is investigating the events that led to the killing of 44 people during a strike by Lonmin workers in August last year.

Read more on:    riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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