News24

Phiyega defends NW police chief

2013-04-02 12:23

Rustenburg - The North West police head did not need permission for statements she made prior to the Marikana shooting, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

This was the testimony of National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega under cross-examination by George Bizos, for the Legal Resources Centre and the Bench Marks Foundation.

Bizos recounted North West police commissioner General Zukiswa Mbombo as saying before the shooting: "Today, we are ending this matter."

Hours later, police fired on striking miners, killing 34 at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana in North West on 16 August last year.

Plan

Phiyega said on Tuesday: "She (Mbombo) is the highest, most senior person (of the police) and had the right, responsibility, and mandate to make the statement."

When she met Mbombo the day before, they agreed the striking miners had to be dispersed and their weapons collected.

"There was a plan... The plan was disrupted," said Phiyega.

She said the police's initial plan was not to kill anyone or to use live ammunition.

Bizos asked Phiyega whether she had ordered a probe into the possible tampering of evidence submitted about the shooting.

She confirmed that she ordered the investigation on 20 October and had received a report a month later.

Further progress had been made in the investigations and a new, updated report had been compiled. The updated report was to be made available to the commission later during the day.

The public hearing in Rustenburg by the commission is part of its inquiry into the Marikana events.

Comments
  • Madise Paul-Zuhair Mphuthi - 2013-04-02 12:35

    that's what she knows best to defend high ranking chaps!!

  • ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 12:35

    I support Phiyega, if someone picks up a gun or a spear and attacks another person then he deserves getting shot. Its ridiculous to say that we are not allowed to protect ourselves but strikers are allowed to do what they want without any consequences.

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-04-02 12:42

      Makes you an idiot then , this sow isn't fit for command.

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 12:55

      mark makes you the bigger idiot then because she is a vast improvement compared to her predecessors. But then again certain people prefer police commissioners who are criminals instead of police commissioners who shoot criminals.

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-04-02 13:22

      Colin I think the reason this thing is now such a mess is that it appears there never was anybody attacking police with a spear or gun. Apparently police went around shooting people who already lay on the ground to make sure that they indeed were dead!

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 13:31

      ohbizz there is plenty of video footage of the miners storming the police. If the police did shoot wounded miners afterwards then prosecute them for that. But the fact is that the miners did kill police and security the previous week and were clearly intent on killing again. If you attack or kill a police officer because you are unhappy with your salary I have no sympathy for you if the police defend themselves and fight back

      foc.us.10004 - 2013-04-02 13:36

      @Colin ... please don't be such a idiot ... there is a major difference when someone enters your house with a knife or a spear .... but any logical person could see these guys were 100 meters away ... a few warning shots or maybe birdshot and rubber bullets would have made the strikers to rethink.... The police let off like 400 rounds??? this is INSANE ....

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 14:00

      foc do you make a habit of speaking about things you have no knowledge of and is there something wrong with your eyes that stop you from judging distances accurately? Firstly the police did fire rubber bullets and teargas before using live ammunition. That did not stop the miners. From the Reuters camera it is clear that the miners advanced to less than 20 meters from the police not 100m as you allege. The miners killed police and security guards previously so why should the police have given them a chance to kill them also. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt11f7p13f0

      infijar.ken - 2013-04-02 14:02

      Colin, what is needed is a time served, trained and fairly promoted professional Commissioner, not a deployee! She is undoubtedly better than any of her predecessors since '94 (can't comment on pre-'94), though that is not saying much.

      Tshepo Tshepo - 2013-04-02 14:10

      i like when i see comments like colinShephard, it just shows that what other people think of others. and we wonder why there is so much hatred going arround.(racialy to be specifi) the matter is that SA police if the wanted to disperse those people.they could have done so.but they did not choose that but to kill them. something is wrong from the top of police/govenment .and if someone brushed it up because is those people. then jsut know one day it will be your people. ..

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 14:13

      ken I know she isn't great, she isn't even good or competent but at least she isn't a criminal like the previous ones which is quite an improvement. And so far she has stuck to her opinion on marikana instead of blaming it on apartheid or eloquently bulls$@#$ing herself out of it

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-04-02 14:45

      Colin I do not dispute that the miners had previously killed. What i am saying is that on the day in question, it appears the police meant to murder the protesters. I remember late last year when evidence was revealed to show that some of the footage taken by media was different from that of the police as it was revealed that some killed / injured protesters were shown to have had more weapons around where they lay according to police footage whereas this was not so according to media. Nobody condones lawlessness. From citizens or police!

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-04-02 14:49

      Colin reading ur subsequent comments , you are even a bigger fooler than I originally thought. This clown is a disgrace to the uniform and isn't fit to command a scholar patrol. How about somebody with real police experience for the top job instead of this twit - you set the bar real low.

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 15:25

      Mark as low as I set the bar I still won't drop to your level. You sound like a selebi supporter, he was after all president of interpol, before he got sentenced for corruption, or maybe you supported cele who also got fired for corruption. phiyega may prove herself completely incompetent but at least she isn't as corrupt as the previous commissioners.

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 15:38

      MArk and you say you do not agree with my previous remarks? So after the police fired rubber bullets and the miners kept on charging they should have asked them nicely to go home? Tell you what, if they every break into your home or try to hijack you, you nicely ask them to go home and then you come and tell us how that worked for you.

      mark.barker.370 - 2013-04-02 16:11

      Twat - I am neither a Selebi nor a Cele supporter , I was referring to your comments regarding support for an incompetent Police Commissioner. Not really willing to debate the merits of the shooting - its clear from the video footage that the SAPS are poorly trained and not ready to deal with such situations. Consider me a Fivaz supporter then i you want to reduce the argument to support for various PCs.

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 16:52

      MArkie, firstly I know several of the policemen that were there. They are neither incompetent not untrained. They had very limited options available to them however and they were scared, the miners had killed before and had stated that they would do so again. It is the responsibility of politicians, unions and the mines to negotiate, not the police. The unions who created the situation however did not want to negotiate. The police were there to keep order. They had at their disposal rubber bullets and teargas. They used them but if you watch the video you will see the miners continued with their charge at which stage some of the policemen opened fire. Some of the police executed wounded miners afterwards and they should be prosecuted for that but not for defending themselves when they were under attack. As for supporting the police commissioner, no other police force in the world would employ her but so far has not been found guilty of corruption nor does her incompetence run as deep as her predecessors'. So while I do not like her, considering the track record of our previous police commissioners, I would rather have her than cele, selebi or who ever else jacob can find to replace her.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-04 02:49

      I was there physically in that operation....police brought their negotiator from Special Task Force.......15 August the whole day negotiations took place.....Union leaders were also escourted by police to speak to their members ...atleast that day miners despersed to their homes at about 19:00. on 15 august......then on 16 august ..they gathered again on the hill.........negotiations by police took place again but werent effective.....miners decided not to listen to police...then police decided to desperse them........and when i spoke to a police member who was there on Sunday when two police officers were killed....he was so frightened.....so what do you people expect if i saw my coleague being hacked with a panga infront of me? must i wait for my turn?

  • Eterni80 - 2013-04-02 12:37

    I long for the day when the circus makes me laugh and not our police force. but as long as the cANCer are in charge, crime will never be a priority as it this would mean they'd be languishing in prison

  • Sello Motlogeloa - 2013-04-02 12:43

    The statement by the NW police chief a day before the massacre clearly demonstrates that a plan was to kill the miners. Victim's families must be compensated for their loss.

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 13:08

      and the policemen and security guards murdered by the miners? Should their families not be compensated by the miners then? They killed policemen the previous week and were planning on doing it again, only this time the police fought back.

  • Maxwell Langeveldt - 2013-04-02 12:59

    That is bull

  • Dhavandran Palavar - 2013-04-02 13:02

    next she will defend the f%^k up in CAR

      Themba Khumalo - 2013-04-02 13:43

      She's not in charge of the army. Think before you type.

  • Marco Dos Santos - 2013-04-02 13:11

    i have a small question.. what if the Police had not fired the shot at the strikers. do you really think that the strikers were there to intimidate the police? all i see is that police being blamed for everything. but i haven't once heard this question come out.

      Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-02 13:49

      it would be pointless to respond to your small question because no one will ever know what would have happened but what we know for sure is that police were out of line and what they did was not in the name of peace or crowd controlling

      Marco Dos Santos - 2013-04-03 11:03

      @teshpo. point taken. i believe that rubber bullets and water cannons were used prior to this happening and people still didn't back off. what other means are police means to use to stop something like that.. maybe i'm just missing something here.. but it's cool.. this matter no one wants to take blame i believe that both parties were wrong and both parties went wrong about it..i still believe that the workers unions are to blame here for asking for such insane demands and cause temper flares..and just not supporting their fellow workers.. but never the less i just wanted to state my opinion...

  • Athalia Maabane - 2013-04-02 13:17

    Watched the footage of the unfortunate incident, but eish the Pangas (weapons) the miners carried with were very scary. Let's put emotions aside and be factual about this whole situation.

      Nontle Mdazuka - 2013-04-02 13:54

      @ Athalia...so true dear, we really need to be realistic here...

  • Stalin Rudolf - 2013-04-02 13:18

    i am a hard worker, i think rowdy employees led by rowdy uninionist are a nuisance. i think if you dont like working for someone you are free to go eleswhere. that said i dont think this phiyega character knows how to be a leader of a police force. sooner or later she will talk herself into grief. she is a blabbermouth who thinks bluffing can get her out of situations. actually most of my buddies in the saps have no respect for her. non lethal force could have been used, ie, water cannons, razor wire, riot shied just to name a few.

  • Rampant - 2013-04-02 13:20

    Please employ qualified people to hold office, forget the jobs for pals and what's in it for me thinking.For those interested in the survival of our country, listen to The Big Debate screened on SABC 2 on Sundays.Thats where you will realise that most government officials through out this planet, hold office for self enrichment instead of the welfare of the country.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-04-02 13:23

    Phiyega, another Zuma appointee not fit for the job.

  • Ecv Vis - 2013-04-02 13:23

    Why I am asking. Why do you take guns and spears to a march or protest even when you know the police will be present. Because you believes in that outragios believe of sangomas that you will be invissible!!

      John Smith - 2013-04-02 13:37

      What guns? Get your facts straight! If I had my FN and 2 magazines there would have been 40 police casualties. The miners had pangas and spears not firearms!

      Ecv Vis - 2013-04-02 13:43

      John. I am speaking in general when people march and protest. Spears and pangas are also deadly weapons. But it seems you are a little trigger happy

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-02 18:08

      more than 6 firearms were siezed at the scene after the shooting... smith

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-04-02 13:24

    Mind you I forgot to add, I think she is better than Cele, better looking in any case.

  • Mfanafuthi Lukatoka Mathonsi - 2013-04-02 13:25

    Colin every has a right to defend his but what i'm not happy with is the large number of miners who were. if that time they was exchange of fire i was gonna be 100% on their side. they had 2 defend themselves but not kill so much! Police and security guard who killed should also be compensated they died in line of duty

      ColinShephard - 2013-04-02 14:03

      mfanafuthi if the police did go on killing miners after the original charge was stopped then prosecute the police and lock them up. But to say the police may not defend themselves from miners who have killed before and wanted to kill again is too much.

  • John Smith - 2013-04-02 13:25

    The mandate of the thick thug force is to keep the peace and to protect and serve the people, not to disarm and murder!

      Ecv Vis - 2013-04-02 13:51

      I hope you never ever need the help of the thick thugs. Majority of force not thugs!!!!!

      John Smith - 2013-04-02 14:07

      You may be one of the 10 per cent of the good cops. Rest assured that I have learned NEVER to call the police. I will defend myself or die trying!

      Ecv Vis - 2013-04-02 14:55

      Good luck with that! Its because of attitudes like yours that whenever where ever there is a protest mayhem follows

  • Ashly Louw - 2013-04-02 13:47

    the miners deserve to die if u hav no respect for us as police u must not expect to get it from me,in that situation im telling its either them before me i also hav to support my fam with my salary !

      Ecv Vis - 2013-04-02 13:53

      You are 100% right. Same applies for MOS taxi driver. He did not respect police!!!!

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-02 16:57

      Ecv Vis - and the penalty for disrespecting the police is death?

  • Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-04-02 13:51

    Ha, if the plan was not to kill or use live ammunition why do they send in their cops armed to the teeth with fully loaded automatic weapons? The intent was always there. The orders from above were clear and carried out.

  • Nontle Mdazuka - 2013-04-02 13:57

    @ Ashly, who deserves to die...lets not be judgmental because the police is also human...who the hell should have died, clear people think police, thats bull?

  • musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-02 14:01

    Some of the comments are really absurd to say the least. Police are meant to be trained to control and disarm a massive gathering like the Marikana miners. The miners were not criminals trying to rob a bank for goodness sake. May I assume that the NW commisssioner's plan to disarm went horrible wrong, that is why her comment to finish the protest. Piyega must just be honest to the public and confess that it was poor management and gun crazy police caused the lost of innocent life to be lost, whether miners or the police.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-02 14:15

      two police were killed by those you so called innocent miners.... it is rediculous to compare my life with bank money and it shows you value money than a life of a human being.....now you say police should have laughed loudly when the armed crowd charged at them.....

  • Charles Kubhayi - 2013-04-02 14:10

    If people would tell the truth about the manner in which the mine-workers' strike was conducted, they would agree that the police had to protect themselves and the integrity of their job by shooting at the approaching workers.This was a very difficult decision to make but without biaseness and looking at how the workers were armed and the fact that two police officials were killed by the workers, really one knows very well that the workers would kill more police if allowed to come closer.I personally understand as a worker that it is unacceptable for a strike to end like this but also our conduct during strike must be acceptable.Police must not do what they did and workers must not do what they did and we are equally liable though it is difficult to accept.

  • musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-02 14:13

    Government through the police system they are meant to ensure public safety and law adherence. Yes, it was an illegal gathering, yes, police died. How many police died with the 34 miners on the day of the shooting? Why they did not withdraw and re-assess their plan instead of maiming ignorant/illiterate/stubborn miners. Police violent behaviour must stop immediately, its silly, scandalous and hypocritical that so many lives were lost because of poor and happy trigger policemen.

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-04-02 14:34

      Lives were lost because the police were ordered to use maximum force, not because they were trigger happy, and it's not the cops fault, the fault lies with those that gave the orders.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-02 17:50

      if police were triger happy there in marikana ..more than 1000 people would have died

  • liels - 2013-04-02 14:18

    We must keep in mind that Riah was newly appointed in the position of NPC in the days before the Marikana Massacre, without working through the ranks like one would expect the NPC to have done. It was, at the time, vital for her acceptance amongst her fellow colleagues to support their actions without doubt in the media. However, one would like to believe, given the gravity of the situation, that she would have launched her own investigation after the massacre and be courageous enough to turn around and say "Listen, I jumped the gun, this is what happened, this is what should have happened and this is what I did to make sure it never happens again."

      Tersia Louw - 2013-04-02 16:59

      Wow, Liana, you expect an ANC appointment to take responsibility for an event which occurred on her watch? I envy your optimism but, sadly, there is no accountability in government.

  • Alan Street - 2013-04-02 14:29

    Is ZoomZoom fuc*ing Phiyega? Seems so.

  • Mordikaai Speak - 2013-04-02 14:33

    This commission is a total waste of time and money and will never raise the dead.

  • Michael Jackwood - 2013-04-02 15:05

    Bizoz must understand that lawlessness can not be tollarated in this country, if he thinks police had to fold their arms and be buchered by the miners, tough luck for him. I am haPpy with self defence by SAPS, howevevr it is regretable that people had to die.

  • Elvis Nqoro - 2013-04-02 16:07

    The duty of police on the day in question was to disperse and disarmed the protestors, as the result of dat, the police where caught in a position which necesitated them to deviate from their initial mandate, as the circumstance dictates and protect themself. Question arose ,how is it posible for a miner to be shot at the back of his body and then referred dat person as someone who was directing an imminent attack to the police. No police has been found injured let alone scratches on thier bodies. I believe dat politics has once again play its unpurified game.

  • mark.ntemi - 2013-04-02 17:03

    this is absolutely bonkers why would SA,waist time&money about this merry go round commission? its quite clear those protesters were meaning to kill,SA has got law where u can't carry dangerious weapon in public even bizos knows that he's just trying 2make himself smart,this preposterious song&dance when its gonna stop?certainly there are more important things 2focus on that waisting money &time

  • mark.ntemi - 2013-04-02 17:16

    there's absolutely'No' poor police trained,its just the word pple want 2expressed themselves,the meaning poor trained is asbsolutely'NONSES'

  • Khaya Mgoqi - 2013-04-03 14:05

    This woman must not try to play her tactics trics while our comrades being brutaly killed by the police,,,,,that was rampage and savageneous so l put in record that this should be investigated comprehensively with her tactics outed as in my view ar not hyper as well as to the public domain.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-05 05:09

      you call them comrades? lol

  • Lehlohonolo Ntonyane - 2013-04-10 20:13

    she is another deployed cadre what did u expect,do as told,or get the boot,and defend stupid boss decisions,anyway capitalist the anc way,tow the line or be killed

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