Phiyega knew of Marikana scene tampering - claim

2012-11-05 22:28

Rustenburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega knew there was evidence to suggest that one of the crime scenes where 34 protesters were shot dead by police on 16 August, had been tampered with, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Monday.

Ismael Semenya for the police said: "The national commissioner has instituted an investigation."

He said the matter came to Phiyega's attention two weeks ago and that she immediately launched a probe to establish what had happened.

Semenya said this after it became apparent that photographs taken on the night of 16 August showed more traditional weapons around the bodies of the slain miners than photographs taken earlier that day.

Evidence leader Mbuyisela Madlanga was cross-examining crime scene expert Captain Apollo Mohlaki when it became clear that scene two, in the vicinity of a koppie near Lonmin's Marikana mine in Rustenburg, had been altered between the times when the pictures were taken.

Madlanga showed Mohlaki three photographs of each of three bodies.

Two were taken in daylight and one by electric light after dark.

Mohlaki took the night pictures and admitted his photographs showed more weapons around the bodies than those taken earlier.

Referring to the night-time photograph of the corpse of Henry Mvuyisi Pato, Madlanga asked whether Mohlaki could see a butcher's knife and an iron rod.

"That weapon is underneath the hand or arm of the deceased?"

Drawing attention to the photographs of the same body taken in daylight, Madlanga asked: "Quite plainly, that butcher's knife is not there?”.

"It is not appearing, I don't see it," Mohlaki replied.

George Bizos, for the Legal Resource Centre, asked: "Who were the people who had the opportunity to really insult the administration of justice in our country?...This came as a big surprise to us."

Commission chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, said it came as a surprise "to all of us".


Last week Semenya said the integrity of the crime scene could have been compromised by the presence of paramedics.

"No blame on your team, but your scene was corrupt?" he asked Mohlaki.

"We will hear evidence that paramedics asked that weapons be removed so they could do their work," said Semenya.

Also on Monday, Dali Mpofu, the attorney for injured and arrested Lonmin miners, claimed some of the shot miners seemed to be handcuffed in a video entered as evidence.

He asked Mohlaki whether he had seen any protesters - whether dead, injured or arrested - with their hands bound behind their backs.

Mohlaki said he had not, but conceded that on a video shown to the commission it appeared to be the case.

"At the crime scene I never observed that.... I never went to individual bodies to see which one was handcuffed, which one was injured...

"If I am looking at the video there is a person, handcuffed possibly, but on the day I did not observe that."

Unnatural angles

The video showed the dead bodies of the miners lying at unnatural angles among large rocks.

Towards the end of the video, loud laughter could be heard, but the group laughing was not visible.

Asked what police might have found so amusing at the scene of so many violent deaths, Mohlaki said: "I have no idea."

During the afternoon session, the parties debated the usefulness of separating elements of the inquiry into phases.

Semenya objected to the first phase being dominated by the police's conduct on 16 August.

"From our perspective, it is an open secret that SAPS has been found guilty in the court of public opinion," he said.

Semenya argued that the contributions of the National Union of Mineworkers, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Lonmin, the actions of angry crowds, and preceding events needed to be taken into account to contextualise the 16 August shootings.

  • lownabester - 2012-11-05 22:39

    Why does this lady always have such a silly smile on her face, I dont find it funny at all.

      lsfreak - 2012-11-05 23:00

      It's because she's been appointed and doesn't come from the SAPS ranks. She's in it for the money :D The cops don't/won't respect her :/

      sean.bagley.50 - 2012-11-05 23:55

      So she can't even do a cover up properly and yet she still manages to keep her job.Obstructing the course of justice.... How is that again?BEE?Must be surely,how else.

      hendrik.verwoerd.14 - 2012-11-05 23:57

      @lownabester: what smile are you talking of?? thats a look of bewilderment... She is thinking, what sh*t have I gotten myself into, im surrounded by a bunch of trigger happy buffoons in uniform, eesshh... lol

      sally.lewitt - 2012-11-06 00:07

      A given fact, surround yourself by incompetent people and it makes you look good.. Eg Zoo-ma but its catching up to him

      tw2066 - 2012-11-06 05:11

      Lady? He doesnt look like a wooomen,

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-11-06 06:54

      Can't see her being around too long!

      bond.ndalo - 2012-11-06 08:54

      Zuma, Mthethwa n Phiyega must resign

      gtiki - 2012-11-06 09:07

      its not a smile, its a smirk...but silly still i got to agree

      richard.laros.77 - 2012-11-06 14:18

      Lady? What lady?

  • Spha - 2012-11-05 23:00


  • kenneth.hlatshwayo - 2012-11-05 23:13

    Feel sorry for the families. Their breadwinners were butchered in cold blood by the SAPS . Their blood is on Piyega and Zuma. We need leaders not killers.

  • bosveld.reaper - 2012-11-05 23:21

    Cadre deployment. A sure way to turn South Africa into a world class African country!

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-06 01:22

      Oh my goodness Hendrik. You really had to go back in history to get some examples. Here are a few more recent African despots! 1. Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 2. OMAR HASSAN AL-BASHIR of Sudan, 3. ISAIAS AFWERKI of Eritrea, 4. MELES ZENAWI of Ethiopia, 5. MUAMMAR AL-QADDAFI of Libya, 6. IDRISS DÉBY of Chad, 7. TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO of Equatorial Guinea, 8. HOSNI MUBARAK of Egypt, 9. YAHYA JAMMEH of Gambia, 10. BLAISE COMPAORÉ of Burkina Faso, 11&12. YOWERI MUSEVENI & IDI AMIN of Uganda, 13. PAUL KAGAME of Rwanda and 14. PAUL BIYA of Cameroon. That is just a few...I can provide more if you like!!

      art5SA - 2012-11-06 07:03

      You forgot the BIGGEST IDIOT/DESPOT of ALL! IDI (ot) AMIN- Uganda!

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-11-06 07:43

      Thanks for the list Silvia. He may be in your unmentioned list, but maybe you should have mentioned Zoomer?

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-11-06 09:00

      Hendrick why not mention the Scots Indians Afghanis and Chinese. Go back a bit in time and the English massacred the French on more than one occasion. They must have been non racist equal opportunity murderers. What about the Italians, on more than one occasion they have pillaged and raped their way along the North African coast but also Eritrea Somalia and Ethiopia. You also forgot to mention the Spanish who decimated the population of South and Central America. As Sylvia pointed out you then left out all present day African leaders, but you have also conveniently forgotton about all the African Chiefs (leaders) who sold their fellow blacks to the Arab and European slave traders. None so blind as those whose education is limited and all they fall back on is predjudice.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-11-05 23:27

    Another 'GRAND SCALE COVER UP' no wonder they're pushing for that Secrecy Bill.. Hope it NEVER comes to pass or we're ALL screwed!

      arthur.salvado - 2012-11-06 07:53

      Either way, we screwed. If its not the one thing, it's another. It's Africa Sally. Slow degradation and we will soon be like the rest. Maybe we will soon look at Zim as a shinning example ?

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-11-06 09:01

      Dont worry once there are more than 3 people involved the secret will come out.

  • phumlani.loliwe - 2012-11-05 23:32

    And people still wonder why cops are hated so much...why we keep having civilians as police commissioners is beyond me, surely after Selebi our dumb president should've seen that doesn't work!

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-06 02:15

      What do you mean by civilians?

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-11-06 02:47

      @mshiniboys:)what he is referring to I'd that neither Jackie Selebi, Bheki Cele, nor Victoria Phiyega went through the police ranks to become police commissioners they were Just civilians or politicians who were hand-picked and given those ranks unlike George Fivaz whom Mandela appointed from the police ranks. Hope you get the picture now.

      art5SA - 2012-11-06 05:14

      Siphom..... you typed to fast....doubt he got that... LOL!

      tebalob - 2012-11-06 14:06

      Phumlani, HE IS've said it. On a serious note,people let's not fight among ourselves because of these TABULARASAs please.Let's concentrate on pledging solidarity,building a united front to oust these morons. let's for this time only,le ska nrwaka,forget who's white,black,transvestite or female etc...let's just work towards ridding our country of these scourge of idiots.

  • eugine.bouwer - 2012-11-05 23:44

    Phinyega knew of marikana scene tampering,she laughed as the marikana massacre video was played.that's evil it remind me of de kock's flak can rot in jail 2

  • sammy.khoza - 2012-11-06 00:00

    Marikana story is just sad to read

  • Spha - 2012-11-06 04:45

    its not an an element of colour,creed or nationality bt d fact remain our police officials are intellectual dwarfs who are given too much authority wit less accountability nt to say much bt their level of education or training

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-11-06 05:51

    my darling the reality is you have been set up to fail, the rank and file will let you down because of the breakdown in accountabilty so deal with it this job will give you endless problems. my opinion decide on a settlement amount for each miner and get it over and done with , or sit there for two years get find liable, refuse to pay ,appeal and 10years later pay the amount plus the costs involved which would have sky rocketed by than , just my humble opinion

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-06 06:00

    Why is it that nothing in this country can be above board, always there are denials, tamperings and lies, eventually you believe nothing that comes out of a persons mouth. It sickens me, this was a tragedy in itself why embellish it.

  • thabo.manganye - 2012-11-06 06:13

    In this country we are just like animals in the jungle , why are people only looking at all this from one angle, so those who lost their lives before the massacre are worth nothing are those not the same miners who killed 10 people before it dawned on them that they can also be killed. We abusing the word Democracy but soon we will be a begging nation just like most of our neighbours

      Sean O'Brien Snr - 2012-11-06 06:36

      True words Thabo.

      Jaap - 2012-11-06 07:02

      Thabo, yes what about the 10 people they murdered? The mine workers initiated this fiasco. Now everybody only talk and think about the 34 that was shot out of self defense. What do people expect? Should the Police just stood and wait also to be savagely killed like their own the previous day? It is always easy to shout from the side if you were not involved.

      thembinkosi.jozie - 2012-11-06 07:50

      More than 10 miners.and 4 witnesses at the commision accused of murder of 10 people including 2 policemen are on trial where have u been

  • khathutshelo.muafrica - 2012-11-06 06:17

    Heads will roll big time here

  • johnodup - 2012-11-06 06:30

    Here we go again -- another disgraced police commissioner just round the corner. Is the country incapable of finding ONE honourable person for this post? What a testement to the State !!

  • sskepu1 - 2012-11-06 06:33

    Shame on you transgender,the ugliest thing I ever saw.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-06 06:35

    Where is all the rabit and the muthi crap by some idiots now?

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-11-06 06:36

    Alhough deplorable, police often laugh or make seemingly inappropriate comments in bad situations - it's a way of coping, not to be overwhelmed by the crime scene - to stay tough - or they'll crack. Scenes haunt them... they get nightmares. Don't make too much of it.

  • Mzondi Wakwa Maqina - 2012-11-06 06:47

    Its just a matter of time before those dumb policemen spill the beans. They forgot one thing, that while they tempered with evidence there are people more intelligent than them that can pick it up. As for the commissioner? Its just proof that Zuma is too stupid to get the right person for the job.

  • Lionel Simmers - 2012-11-06 06:48

    @Art and Silvia, polish the frame of Verwoerd's picture in ur lounges. I.e don't forget in this country it was a succession line of despots for hundreds of years

      Jaap - 2012-11-06 07:05

      Lional, waar val jou dan nou uit?

  • Pomp.haar.doer - 2012-11-06 07:04

    Working at ABSA,nd being the Comm of police is worlds apart-why not app a official with 35y expierence in the job??why app somebody frm the private sector,with no clue what is going on in SAPS.Whe need leaders/rollmodels in society that have the knowledge nd wisdom to do there job,to the best of there ability,FINISH EN KLAAR!!!

  • mavivi.ntshongwana - 2012-11-06 07:18

    Can someone please fire this woman

  • raymond.buis.3 - 2012-11-06 07:23

    Everybody understands what a claim is right? It still needs to be proved.

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-11-06 09:31

      Raymond, the evidence of tampering with the scene by adding weapons to people who had been shot was provided by a police crime scnene officer. if the scene had been tampered by miners, the weapons would have been removed, not added. this was only done by SAPS morons who realized they killed unarmed people and thought that they can get away with it. do you need more proof?

  • Joalane Mareletse - 2012-11-06 07:24

    this is disappointing and disgusting

  • lizwi.makala - 2012-11-06 07:25

    Rabit and Muthi?

  • edwin.malose - 2012-11-06 07:26

    Kobang skobo se bareng ke phiyega

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2012-11-06 07:33

    I give up ! I lost hope with the police when I spend over 2months in jail for according to them \ BEING AT THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG\ and that experience made me realise how vulnerable we are as law abiding citizens in the hands of incompetent powerful morons in police uniform .

  • lwazi.sibiya.10 - 2012-11-06 07:38

    This is just another plunder by ANC as usual. Cadre deployment at commissioner's level will never work but do they listen? Are we really short of competent people?

  • ray.molekoa.5 - 2012-11-06 07:41

    Ja Ria ke lePhiyega la motho ka nnete jong !

  • chris.jikijela.1 - 2012-11-06 07:54

    She knew about this three weeks ago... Bt it only came to the public's attention 3 daes ago aftr this issue was raised i court...that ANC for you.

  • Andrea - 2012-11-06 08:32

    I've said it before, I'm saying it again, this woman is not fit to hold that position.

  • ntsanen - 2012-11-06 08:32

    This is an outcome, of choosing people because he/she knows somebody or because is with this organisation. South African fought for equal rights, not the preference of skin colour. No Idiot will put Zuma back in power.

  • kitty2wp - 2012-11-06 09:01

    the fact is, there was a large mob, some with weapons charging at police singing war songs. it was inevitable the police would shoot. If a group had to charge towards Jacob Zuma's car or brigade - they'd be shot without a question. Police are people too.

      benjamin.mathebula.7 - 2012-11-06 10:16

      Yes police r people too, if they didn't overpower them then what would've been around rustenburg as we speak. Police were 100% to return fire.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2012-11-19 11:33

      Fact is, some people were shot in the back. If a large mob is charging AT you, how is this possible? Perhaps, Kitty, someone is being a little economical with the truth.

  • lwando.memani - 2012-11-06 09:05

    Funny how just a few back most of u here were clapping hands fo the police for shooting miners. Now u get to here contrary facts again you twisting your views and attacking the same police. goes to show how little do you aplly your brains. doofs

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-11-06 09:25

    This is as natural as the sun rising in the East..appoint someone with zero police expertise & it doesn't take long for exposure.What did she say about a bottle store..??

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-11-06 09:31

      @Tim Elliot:)exactly, the same thing with her predecessor who said you don't have to be the pilot to head the SAA. Sometimes people just talk without thinking first.

  • Mlu.Tolo - 2012-11-06 09:31


  • valkyriaza - 2012-11-06 09:50

    IMO police has already been thrown to the wolves for Zoomer to cosy up to the unions. The miners started this and now they cry foul. They even demand the release of those who had killed people before the so-called massacre. The whole inquiry is a political farce and many policemen will suffer unnecessarily.

  • clive.kihn - 2012-11-06 09:51

    If this is the case, she must be fired immediately and replaced by an experienced, competent, career cop with good leadership qualities - surely there are some left? Otherwise the SAPS will continue down the slippery slope to total disintegration.

      flysouth - 2012-11-07 09:58

      Perhaps the few untainted cops who are left are white - and of course they could never be promoted!

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-11-06 10:16

    blah Blah blah!!! Can this just end now it is wasting time and money!

      benjamin.mathebula.7 - 2012-11-06 10:18

      Correctio...police were 100% right to return fire.

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-11-06 10:54

    when i said from the on set that her appointement was not correct, people came out celebrating that Bheki Cele was no more, now i ask the during Cele's reign would this be happening, wasnt he one guy who honestly brought crime down and introduced measures that really curb crime, in his reign there were more visible police and cash heighst, house breaking and other crime were really brought down?Now i say of all corrupt politicians we have, is he better because at least (to some extent) he did fight our course (crime)?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-06 11:07

    I have always known something wasn't right here.Bloody crooks.

  • sarecen.smith - 2012-11-06 11:14

    now the cops can claim that they have an oc in charge

  • flysouth - 2012-11-06 14:05

    If ever anyone needed evidence of the stupidity,incompetence and sheer corrupt nature of the SAPS today, this has to be it - they cannot even doctor a crime scene! Stupid cops, stupid leader, stupid,stupid.

  • gareth.hart.965 - 2012-11-06 16:17

    Saw her on a local talk show(Interface) a few weeks back appearing in her professional capacity as national police commissioner - in a red summer's dress??(her posture was also one where she sat laid back on the chair in the studio??)...

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