Phiyega laughs as Marikana footage is shown

2012-10-24 09:53

Johannesburg - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega reportedly laughed and joked as footage of the killing of 34 miners in a clash with police was screened at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, The Times reported on Wednesday.

Phiyega reportedly joked with a state law adviser as a prelude to the killings was screened at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

Surrounded by her senior officers, Phiyega smiled as she watched.

It was only after screams of horror echoed across the room, as the footage was played without any warning, that Phiyega's "humorous demeanour changed to that of an ice queen, blatantly ignoring the wailing families", the report continued.

"...Phiyega stared straight ahead, ignoring a widow screaming at her for answers about her husband's death," the newspaper reported.

"Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?" the woman screamed at her.

Later she was seen comforting one of the widows of the two policemen killed ahead of the August 16 shooting.

Asked repeatedly for comment on why she did not help those upset, and what she had been joking about, Phiyega said: "I am not here for that. I am here for the commission and the commission only."

Bishop Jo Seroka, a talks facilitator for the miners, said: "She sat there laughing and did nothing. You would expect a sense of remorse and empathy which was non-existent."

  • mable.jacobs.90 - 2012-10-24 10:04

    That's S.A. leaders for you, not a shred of decency or professionalism. This country is in hell.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-10-25 12:59

      True, though she's been the first person reported that actually comforted the murdered police's widows. So far all the reporting has been about the poor miners that died at the hands of the brutal police. What bullcrap!

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-10-24 10:05

    I also had to laugh when I saw and heard her on tv the other night! Just cannot believe she is the National Police Commisioner! LOL

  • lvhukeya1 - 2012-10-24 10:07

    no wonder' people who are employed by ZUMA knows very well dat they are untouchables.

  • John.Yossarian22 - 2012-10-24 10:07

    Maybe there is a private joke between her and our giggling President?

      opinionator - 2012-10-24 17:39

      Here's the joke: How many ANC members of cabinet does it take to deliver books to a school? 1500. 1 to hire the unlicened truck driver and 1499 to stand around an scratch their ass.

      jmlongwe - 2012-10-25 18:03

      @opinionator dude really??? stick to your day job

      The Real Harry Potter - 2012-11-06 07:03

      It would be my guess that she shares Zuzu's Zulu culture. Being from KZN I was witness to the lack of respect for the soul. In those days robbery victims were killed because it was easier to kill them than to risk having a witness. A Zulu colleague would tell me of how a father would drive over his child's puppy and knowingly leave the carcass to lie in the driveway for days... just to breed knowledge of "the hard life" into the kids. If you look at the savagery of the former leaders Cetsewayo, Shaka, Dingaan etc... they were usually put in power as king when they murdered their own brothers! This is the culture that leads our nation, and that which the commissioner is showing.

  • Hemlock - 2012-10-24 10:07

    What a stupid, insenitive *&@$# ! No decency at all!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-24 21:18

      Poor impulse control. It's endemic.

      ansie.b.badenhorst - 2012-10-25 08:22

      Normally you laugh to disguise the fact that you 1) don't know what's going on 2) don't have a clue ho to handle it.

  • attie.gerber.1 - 2012-10-24 10:08

    these miners think they are protected game and only they have rights

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-25 12:58

      Could you live on approximately R5000 per month? Would you be able to tolerate living in a shack. Would you have the guts to go down into the bowels of the earth to earn that money? Just asking....

      philip.vde - 2012-10-25 13:54

      @ Patsy ... no I wouldn't like it .... that's why I work 80 hours a week

      TSR01 - 2012-10-26 14:10

      patsy.smith.125, that's a very ignorant and uneducated remark. R5,000 a month is above and beyond entry-level IT positions which usually start at around R4,000 - R4,800 a month for low skill employees (and mind you, they at least have some experience with PC's, unlike mine workers who have absolutely no formal qualifications or experience in mining). How are young IT professionals making do on their own, without ending up in a shack? Good question, or pointless question? Think it over. R5,000 is not minimum wage (yet). Don't act like it is the thin red line between barely making do and destitution. (if it is to you, then you're too wealthy to be commenting on what others should / shouldn't be earning)

  • tobela.maki - 2012-10-24 10:09

    Dat shows how clueless and senseless she is about her position,just lyk da dictator a.k.a nt suprised @ ol...

  • tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-24 10:11

    "Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?"........umm, maybe he was running at the police with a panga.

      fani.dlamini.5 - 2012-10-24 12:28

      hahahahahahaha, i dont mean to laugh or to be heartless fellow, just that ur comments made me to laf, infact its true wt u saying, he prabably was running with a panga towards the police. LOL. forgive me fellow black south africans. what about our brotheres wo were killed by these striking miners??! sithini ngabo? as much as the police were wrong by shooting, the same goes to the miners. what does Newton says in his third Law

      george.casper.315 - 2012-10-25 08:51

      Michael, has it occured to ANYONE that a bullet travels, not 20 meters and stops in midair to avoid hitting someone else standing 1000 meters behind the fellow charging the poe'lice with a shiny serrated panga, that was shot in the front line front? Shot in the back, Yes, running away after the first shot was heard. A shot not by the poe'lice but by one of their numbers. Make any sense now?

      henk63 - 2012-10-25 11:37

      Michael, here's another thought: Have you seen the way those miners actually REVERSED TOWARDS the police? They were actually walking backwards and sideways, looking over their shoulders. It must have something to do with instructions from the witch doctor, or else they KNEW the chance of getting shot would be less. However, their intent was real and they had real weapons, and if the police did not shoot they would have been massacred. It's a pity they aimed low and only killed so few of the savages.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-10-25 13:01

      Wow! Just imagine! A panga against a fully armed semi-automatic weapon! Not even plastic bullets, but real live ammo. The police were obviously shivering in their boots with fear

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-25 13:34

      Patsy here's an idea. I'll take a panga, you take a R5. I'll come at you with my panga (with the intention to kill) and let's see how you react.

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-10-24 10:13

    how much is this commission costing us?

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 10:31

      R70 million at last count.

  • sarel.snyman.3 - 2012-10-24 10:15

    Pathetic, does not matter who died or what side u r on!

  • raymond.buis.3 - 2012-10-24 10:16

    So what. Those miners needed to be dispersed and the police did that. What everyone is forgetting is these so called victims killed 10 innocent people and many more would have died if they did not respond the way they did. As for the widow, she will demand a huge settlement with those tears.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-10-24 10:17

    We all know why the rebel rouses were shot, so what is the big deal and I think at the end of the day evil will win and the police will lose.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-10-24 10:17

    "Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?" - aaaaahhhhhhhhhh he attacked them?

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-10-24 10:28

      Although I think the Police Commissioner should have shown a professional approach to the filming of the attack, and should have remained quiet...I also do believe, that the Police had to defend themselves once the miners ran on a charge towards the police. For those that think otherwise...I ask this....What would you do if being attacked by a crowd of armed angry men? You wouldn't just stand and let them butcher you..THANK YOU.

      irma.white.9 - 2012-10-24 10:38

      Laughing is not a crime, and can even be a sign of nervousness. Just because she happend to laugh at that moment, doesn't mean she was laughing AT the footage. News24 is also known for its sensationalism.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 13:25

      None would have been killed if they protested and striked in a legal way by using the unions.

      irma.white.9 - 2012-10-25 08:46

      Dhavandran, I highly doubt that the police would have specifically gone out of their way to find a bunch of men hiding just to shoot them. There is a piece of the story missing there, for all we know those men had guns.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-10-24 10:21

    Typical police arrogance. I surprised she didn't have a nap during the proceedings, and wake up in time for lunch.

  • snow.maleka - 2012-10-24 10:23

    This is sloppy reporting,No story here!

  • george.pito - 2012-10-24 10:23

    Reading this article says to me there is no hope in this country. Everything gets distorted for the sake of doing it. Nobody will ever be able to do the right thing.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-24 10:24

    just lookin at her freezes my blood.

  • Gichumz - 2012-10-24 10:25

    LOL!!!!! "They came, they saw, they were conquered." - tommy.jones.754918

  • eric.martinsich - 2012-10-24 10:34

    When I watch some of the footage in the court on the news there were other people laughing and smiling. This is really bad news reporting and someone trying to down the police. who decides when one laughs and when one does not. If I was laughing and then all of a sudden the video plays and I realize this then I stop. is that not what happened. There were also trauma counsellors in the court to assist those affected. It was not Phiyega place to run and help. she might of been attacked. Come come people do not believe everything written by the Times and funny enough not written by News 24 who is also in the court?

      fernando.duda - 2012-10-24 21:58

      Eric and Jeandre- Were you in Marikana? I doubt. I do not say I doubt the training of our police, it will be a big embarrassment to our country. There are times that after the mission as police you come back and debrief, surely the police know they overreacted in this case. Unfortunately it takes a man to accept wrongdoing. At this moment the state (police) will not accept because money comes before life in South Africa. If the owners of the mines should have approved the R12 500 without any blood, everybody was gonna hail their success.... There is no success killing your countrymen, if that makes you happy, I will doubt that your conscience still serves you well. I am sorry but, it is true. Go to the township of Marikana and listen to the miners who did not strike and those who went on strike they all agree the police were too harsh. It does not take a rocket scientist to realise that!

      eric.martinsich - 2012-10-25 07:49

      Hey Fernando. who spoke about Marikana? This story was about a person laughing in court. Court cases are hard core and many times clinical. how do you decide who is guilty when the case is far from being completed. Stick to the issue at hand

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-24 10:35

    The heading is pure sensation, she was having a private joke with someone close to her. The whole incident could have been prevented if the miners followed the correct procedures.

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-10-24 10:37

    Why should she show any remorse. Those police officers were protecting their own lives ffs.

  • Brilliant Sibisi - 2012-10-24 10:37

    Guess she's getting too comfortable in office!

  • Andrea - 2012-10-24 10:38

    Let's see how long it takes for this one to be dethroned.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-10-24 10:38

    I will not shed a tear for those savage miners. I am glad she did go comfort those policemens wives and security wives as they have been forgotten in this enquiry. Why must she go comfort those savage miners wives???? Let them cry and collapse all they want, it will not make me feel sorry for them. They do it just to get sympothy from the public and we will not fall for that. Yours husbands went there looking for trouble. If you wanna blame ppl blame the unions and JUJU for getting them all fired up and then running for cover when the S*** hit the fan.

  • archie.mooki - 2012-10-24 10:38

    heheheheeeeee .. they deserve to be laughed at ....for their stupidity and ignorance they will still vote for ANC anyway.. and let the killings continue....

  • pmogala - 2012-10-24 10:39

    This is not a laughing matter regardless who is right or wrong.

  • john.p.steyn - 2012-10-24 10:41

    I'm all out of sympathy for the dead miners. They're not martyrs or saints, just violent and dangerous men that died while trying to attack our police.

  • rams.ramasodi - 2012-10-24 10:42

    This country is really coming into a serious turmoil, we are really lead by senseless morons, how dare does "HE" laugh while watching that footage?

  • john.p.steyn - 2012-10-24 10:43

    Sipho skepu. Do you fantasize about murdering farmers yourself, you sick pig.

  • vuyo.mdutyana.7 - 2012-10-24 10:43

    wow,Iam mum and numbed by such cruelty.The shoot to kill song seems to be winning,because I doubt that even if the police men were being attacked they were suppose to shoot to kill.Alas, miners are not trained to use pistols and yet police is vice versa and rather they showed lack of professionalism in the way they cnducted themselves. I believe they are suppose to shoot to dismantle or separate them[miners] with the weapons they carried.Now their commissioner laughing? really now?these are the personnel who fail the country and I believe they don't deserve our respect,"be the change you want to see in the world" Gandhi,maybe they must start reading a lot it might help in their moralistic change and stop this moronistic and insipid hegimony they demagogously harness.

  • Khanyile Busokwakhe - 2012-10-24 10:46

    she can laugh 4now but she will be crying later wheres bheki cele now with his shoot to kill [jobless]

  • tshepo.maganedisa - 2012-10-24 10:46

    what do you expect from her, this is the same person that stood in front of the media at the police headquaters and declared that cops shot in self defence and not even once she went to the crime scene and assess the damages and now she is laughing at those widows and orpans and i pity those who are condoning her actions because one day should those kids turn to crime and victimised you or anyone close to you remember where it all started

      mabura.bratiger - 2012-10-24 11:10

      Oh God help us from this rubish reporting of poor journsalism. Don't be suprise to wake to another story \Piyega Ululating or Fart\ during the commissionm. The Commission is not about Phiyega crying or smilling but is about real reasons that led to the tragedy.

  • Karel du Toit - 2012-10-24 10:46

    this article is worse than youth league propaganda. dont believe every thing you read.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-10-24 10:47

    well now you which party to vote for. she represents cANCer and we have the vote.

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-24 10:49

    Lol miners should have followed right procedures but they ddnt, i gues s gud when u hurt others, but when u get hurt u cry mxm sick

  • mzuvukile.maswana - 2012-10-24 10:52

    Why were the pangas, spears and knobkerries carried during the strike? Was is a strike or one of Dingaan's strategies of ambushing people with guns?

  • Sakhile Maphumulo - 2012-10-24 10:53

    is this real journalism? news worth consuming?

  • francois.leroux.359 - 2012-10-24 10:54

    Very poor reporting !

  • olebogeng.diratsagae - 2012-10-24 10:54

    Heartless woman deployed by Zuma the polygamist

      nhlaka.m.kunene - 2012-10-24 19:53


  • bongie.mavume - 2012-10-24 10:59

    Was there a sign saying 'no laughing'? Or may be the miners were suppose to kill police and all would be ok? 2 police were killed nd security personel nd other inocent people but they say nothing about that...come on people!! Who was suppose 2 die that day? Police?

      april.thusini - 2012-10-24 11:08

      Now that is what went on in my mind when all this happened, who was suppose to die? Should the police wait for the angry crowd to kill them?

      thuliaphrotee.msikisi - 2012-10-24 11:33

      No one deserves to die at all.

      irma.white.9 - 2012-10-25 08:49

      You are right Thuliaphrotee, no one deserves to die but some people really go looking for it, like the miners.

  • customdesign - 2012-10-24 10:59

    Laughing is often a sign of nervousness.

      Andrea - 2012-10-24 12:56

      she's got plenty to be very nervous about.

  • themba.qwabe.1 - 2012-10-24 11:06

    fu..k u all big mouths . miners who died are no saints and if you want this country to work it can only be through eye for an eye because most of us including me do not understand the foreign conept of democracy not now or in the foreseeable future. you need agovernment that takes no nonsense period

      whatda.fuqbro - 2012-10-24 12:04

      Precisely that! What this country actually needs is a competent government with a more of an authoritarian approach in order to keep the clowns in check. This liberal nonsense has got to stop.

  • phillip.joubert.56 - 2012-10-24 11:07

    The family,s must ask the songoma (toordokter) why why why because he bless them with dead animals fat and blood maybe human blood\r\n From the forefathers to be strong and invisible to the police / also the police chief is right to say she is only there for the hearing nothing else

  • clifford.d.viljoen - 2012-10-24 11:08

    In line with my experience in the Police reserves it is normal that people could get shot in the back while retreating. We must not forget that the larger proportion of these miners were actually charging and when the first shots wrang out some decided to retreat and got caught in the cross-fire. I do have sympathy with the people that got killed but we need to relise that striking workers cannot on a continues basis kill, as in this instance, ten people and expect not to be confronted!! I do not think the police shot specifically at retreating miners, that"s bull!!!

  • sango.jika - 2012-10-24 11:12

    was she suppose to cry come on people.

      ompi.khang - 2012-10-24 11:54

      Not cry or laugh but...??

      whatda.fuqbro - 2012-10-24 12:00

      Yes, with tears of laughter...

  • christina.setloboko - 2012-10-24 11:14

    OOH, CUMON woman, your husband started it first, obviously he wasn't thinking of you and your kids, no sympathy from me whatsoever. remember they also killed 10 people before, so shut-up.eye for an eye.

  • kitty2wp - 2012-10-24 11:15

    nobody in charge knows what they doing - this woman laughing obviously she's oblivious to the situation around her - she is supposed to be doing her job - not laughing like all Government does in serious situation, i'm surprised she wasn't dancing. she obviously feels superior. what she should've done is make a clear statement that the events were unfortunate but if anyone wants to know why the police shot their husband - to get them to look at the footage of the muti painted workers with pangas and machettes and ask them to add 1+1=?. trust a commission to turn things into a circus. Put on your Commission face Phiyega and do your job.

  • had.enuf.1 - 2012-10-24 11:18

    Hey N24, stop deleting my comments just because I refer to another newspaper article !! First I removed the freaking link !! Now I have removed a reference to the article. Let's see if you still delete this. Everyone is forgetting the fact that of the armed mob that charged police, only about 10 people were shot there in front of the cameras. The other 24 people were hunted down in the bushes within the next hour and murdered, about 400 metres from the original shooting scene.

  • denis.mhendi - 2012-10-24 11:19

    Goes aroud comes around.One day is one day,the day God answering the strangers of that tragedy others been reget.God know everything happened at 16 AUGUST 2012.The truth must come out I know,there's no one bigger than the God and the law.

      whatda.fuqbro - 2012-10-24 11:59

      Where's god? Did he attend the inquiry? And where in the law does it state that this god fellow overrules any legislation?

  • lizwi.makala - 2012-10-24 11:20

    I think the president of the rulling party must get rid of all comedians in his carbinet,he must again employ people who were born and bread in the rulling party.If he fails to do that he must step down as the president.