Phiyega says she didn't read affidavit

2013-04-04 12:42

Rustenburg - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega did not read an affidavit she signed before a commissioner of oaths, the Farlam commission heard on Thursday.

"I do submit that I didn't read it because I thought I was simply correcting (an omitted initial)," Phiyega told the commission in Rustenburg, North West.

The document contains details of the police's role in the fatal shooting of 34 Lonmin platinum mineworkers in Marikana, North West, on 16 August last year.


Two affidavits were submitted by Phiyega's lawyers. Page seven of the first affidavit contains only the commissioner of oaths' initials.

The second affidavit features both Phiyega and the commissioner of oaths' initials, but Phiyega said on Thursday that copy was incorrect.

Phiyega said what she signed before the commissioner of oaths on 12 March was a draft version of her statement, which she thought had been corrected and updated on 7 March.

"For me, it was the same statement... I looked at where I did not sign and I signed."

Legally, Phiyega would have needed to be sworn in by the commissioner of oaths. Both of them would have needed to initial all the pages of the document after having read through it.

Phiyega said she and her lawyers had already informed the commission of this discrepancy.

"I said to my lawyer that there's a discrepancy between my statement and one commissioned because one [of them] was just a draft," said Phiyega.

A paragraph on page seven of Phiyega's first affidavit, which she had not initialled, states: "On the afternoon of August 16, 2012, I received a call from Lt General Mbombo who informed me of the decision to implement a dispersal operation of the plan."

The second affidavit, which contained Phiyega's signature says: "On the afternoon of August 16th, 2012, I received a call from Lt General Mbombo who informed me of the decision to implement stage 3 of the plan, which information I relayed to the minister."

Phiyega said the contents of the second statement, which she had drafted, were false.


Schalk Burger SC for Lonmin, asked Phiyega how she could have made such a mistake on her own draft.

She replied that she typed the document and forwarded it to her secretary.

She was given a hard copy of her statement and realised it had errors about her communication with the minister.

Phiyega said she then made changes on the hard copy itself and returned it for the changes to be made.

After several queries from Burger on what exactly Phiyega had told the minister about the situation, the police chief said perhaps the English language was becoming difficult. She then testified in her home language, Sepedi.

She said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa asked her what had been done to deal with the situation in Marikana, but he did not give her advice on the matter as it was not part of his job description.

Phiyega said Mthethwa simply asked for an update so that he could inform the presidency.

Phiyega's cross-examination continues.


  • Mpumelelo TF - 2013-04-04 12:46

    Credibility crisis on the 8th gear Amarok style! Clearly your reputation is in tatters mme. Please do the honourable thing and resign. - 2013-04-04 13:12

      I have a much better understaning NOW as to why so many criminal cases are thrown out of court due to the lack of attention to detail during investigations.... it comes from the top!!

      nu_un_clear - 2013-04-04 13:22

      Spot on, Foc Us

      Albert Prinsloo - 2013-04-04 15:27

      The problem is she missed her first day at school and the next, and the next, and the next, and the....oh then she became police commissioner!!??? Rather pack your things, go to checkers and buy a prit, ruler and pencil and line up for GR0

      John Camp - 2013-04-04 15:27

      Crazy woman, a signature on an affidavit is a confirmation that you are the author. It would take a brave soul to sign an affidavit not knowing the content

      Philip - 2013-04-04 16:09

      Damn! she's dumb!

  • Sanchez Real Govere Sancho - 2013-04-04 12:47

    Thats coming from the National Police Commissioner?? Someone give a a resignation letter and ask her to sign it, she wont notice!!!

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-04-04 13:57

      She'll probably bugger that up, too.

      Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 14:48

      thats if it gets there before notice of suspension with full pay for 5yrs

  • Lesibana Maropola - 2013-04-04 12:48

    Comissioner Phiyega *yawning*. Just tell the commission the truth and get over with and then resign for God's sake.

  • Neill Le Roux - 2013-04-04 12:50

    Wow there is no structure or process at the top it seems, never sign any document not even a draft document only the original and only once you have read it. Maybe they should fire her just for that incompetence....

      QuquzelaMzania - 2013-04-04 14:18

      Incapacity. You mean?

  • Melanie Gardner - 2013-04-04 12:52

    hmmmmm...thought thought that if he planted a feather, a chicken would grow....

      Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 14:48

      lol - i like how you put it

  • Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2013-04-04 12:56

    stupid woman

  • Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2013-04-04 12:56

    stupid woman

  • Michael Jackwood - 2013-04-04 13:00

    Bizoz and his friends must go straight to the point, the issue at hand is not Phiyega's error on the doucument, tell us who killed two police man, as for the miners we saw them charging at police and police shot them before they killed them with pangas! End of commision.

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-04-04 13:38

      Bizos is well on his way to prove that the Police had infact been ordered to murder the strikers on that fateful day. Hence the relevance of Phiyega's affidavit. Remember too that an affidavit is a sworn statement (of truth) as does giving testimony at the commission. If the two contradict each other then the question becomes are the lies in the affidfavit or in your submissions to the commission? By then, either way she goes, she will be F#%$*d. Then it will be End of commission

      Michael Jackwood - 2013-04-04 13:53

      I realy dont care if someone had ordered police to kill those miners, what those were doing up that mountain was satanic, what they did to those two policeman was horendous criminal act.

      Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 14:55

      @Michael,point of correction - the commision was set to invistigate the whole Marikana situation from management to everyone who was involved (NUM, Amcu, strikers, police etc) - it was not instigated to probe what you just said. So the commision is spot on because we need to see how incompetent our police force are and we need to try to stop such events from occuring again - i hope you will understand that because if you dont understand something dont criticize

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-06 07:51

      @Tshepo you also got it wrong...the aim of the commission is not to prove how incompetant are the police.

  • Gary5 - 2013-04-04 13:05

    The lack of attention to detail from a so called senior official is just the tip of the iceberg. Its like ALL the paperwork, files lost, not completed across the civil service.

  • Ann Padoa - 2013-04-04 13:06

    This woman is digging herself deeper into a hole. She has no idea what the hell she is talking about. She is a blatant liar.

  • Patrick Motaung - 2013-04-04 13:07

    Haibo commissioner, yaahhhh!!!!!!

  • Tshepo Ally - 2013-04-04 13:08

    She's definitely not one of the smartest around.

  • Deon de Lange - 2013-04-04 13:13

    The more she digs, the deeper the hole gets - and a hole is a hole in any language.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-04-04 13:59

      Apparently Riah's two holes are not the same. Ummmmm.... let's rephrase that.....

  • Madise Paul-Zuhair Mphuthi - 2013-04-04 13:15

    she f*cked up!!!!!

  • Eugene Trollip - 2013-04-04 13:17

    Is this lady really fit to be the National Police Commissioner, or is she just another government porn like her predecessors? She cannot even express herself in English, what example is she setting for her force? Eish! And a police minister that cannot give advise to his Police Commissioner because it is not part of his job description. Is this for real??? I thought the 1 April is gone.

      Madise Paul-Zuhair Mphuthi - 2013-04-04 13:24

      Can you express yaself in Sesotho, so to hell with your english.

      Arno Louw - 2013-04-04 13:26

      Government porn? Who would want to see that? Did you mean government pawn, maybe?

      Oscar Lekoane - 2013-04-04 14:04

      Haaibo,Yes we have 11 official lang.,bt in defence of @Eugen,certain positions require one to be fluent in English,why apply or accept one when you are not,unless her affidavit was written in all official languages.

      Eugene Trollip - 2013-04-04 15:11

      @ Arno - maybe that too - sorry I did not read it before I signed it! @ Madise - Unfortunately I can't, but then my position does not require from me to be fluent in Sesotho - diteboho monna

  • arthur.tarr.3 - 2013-04-04 13:19


  • Benson Mzwamadoda Madala - 2013-04-04 13:23

    To sign the document without read it shows that, that position was given by her uncesters she was not fit for that position. The easy come tha more problem face to you because of stupitness how can you submite document without reading and edit some errors dommmm Lady fovous of Zummmmma kuku.

  • nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-04 13:23

    ok people. if Phiyega can say yes police action were wrong... what will be the next step?

      4U2C - 2013-04-04 14:03

      ....a can of worms perhaps? You tell me

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-04-04 14:47

      what is the thumbdown for...this is a question...i want to know

      Bonga Kwanini - 2013-04-04 15:10

      She wud be fired or asked to step down, possibly be arrested for ordering human slaughter,and spend da rest of her life miserable in jail.That's wat wud happen if our justice system was efficient, bt tis jst like her

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

      but there is no charge like ordering human slaughter here in SA.....

  • Ali Kujane - 2013-04-04 13:31

    if her appointment was not political,English wouldn't be so difficult. capable people were overlooked for her position.

  • Oscar Lekoane - 2013-04-04 13:34

    Seemingly competent people suddenly become incompetent after joining the ANC led governement,God help us all.

  • Lawrence Mahlaba - 2013-04-04 13:36

    Can sm1 check Academic qualifications of this woman i smell smthing.

  • musa.kamashobane - 2013-04-04 13:36

    Yo! Yo! Yo!, you did not read, Phiyega? What are you telling your police, write dont read and pleade ignorant, hey? Please resign, you are an embarrassment already.

  • Tembela Njikelana - 2013-04-04 13:41

    This coutry is at risk.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-04-04 14:01

      Fooked, more likely.

  • Kevinwilliams - 2013-04-04 13:44

    A police chief that does not read an afidavid, which is the basic of all police work ? ? ? Fire HER PLEASE - She's incompetant...

  • Tembela Njikelana - 2013-04-04 13:45

    This combrate appointmet.

  • Tumelo Rich Seerane - 2013-04-04 13:46

    leave phiyega alone she is a human being like u so everybodY can make a mistake. This is a human error

      Neill Le Roux - 2013-04-04 13:51

      That may deem people innocent or guilty and affect their lives forever. When it comes to 34 dead people and however many officers jobs and lives at stake you don't make such an error.....

      Freddie Jones - 2013-04-04 13:51

      Failing to do her job is a 'human error'?? How do you work that out?

      Erna Westdyk - 2013-04-04 13:56

      @Tumelo - she doesn't get paid that type of salary to make these types of mistakes in these type of circumstances. The fact that she isn't competent in English at the level of police commissioner is also worrying. Now we know why it is not expected for the police to take statements in English.

      Tumelo Rich Seerane - 2013-04-04 14:21

      @Marius, what about those two innocent police officers who were hacked to death? Dnt just focus on one side

      Bonga Kwanini - 2013-04-04 15:03

      Its a human error no doubt, but all that we want is for her to take full responsibility for the error she made, isn't that what life is all about?

      Mathemba Duna - 2013-04-04 15:11

      Not reading a statement can not be a human error but a negligence. Phiyega was negligent to assume. That was a very sensitive issue, 34 lives were lost because of her negligent. She is unfit to hold that position, I sugest that Mzwandile Petros is the best candidate for that position. That position needs someone who's got the police backround, someone who grow up in the police ranks. Government should not politicize that post. In the army you can't see such things because they grow within the Military ranks and become Generals with all the experience. How can you have experience about police work if you were never a police officer? She should be dismissed and criminaly charged for the death of those 34 miners and those injured.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 13:47

    So much more proof this is a rubber stamp government.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 13:47

    Incompetence at the highest level.

  • Marlene Van Wyk - 2013-04-04 13:48

    Dumb and dumber!!

  • JonaDawhalier Dawhalier - 2013-04-04 13:49

    Just to correct a potential misconcpetion. The commisioner of oaths is not obliged to read the statement. Nor is the deponent sworn in as if giving evidence in a court of law or in front of some commission. The deponent is merely asked to answer the three prescribed questions. Remember that some deponents can't even read. The content of the statement is not the business of the commissioner of oaths. The next time you go to a police station you may want to point that out to the constable who can barely read but can't contain his curiosity what the statment says and wastes your time reading it. His duty starts and ends with that stamp, filling in the anwers its imprint requires (which you may also fill in - he must just ask if you confirm the replies) and signing on the space provided for his signature, and of giving sufficient information with which he can be identified as the particular commissioner of oaths.

      4U2C - 2013-04-04 14:01

      Jona....Yes, but when such statements are made for the explicit purpose of this inquiry then the contents thereof and the technically correctness thereof is of paramount is like a murderer being set free on a technicality.

      JonaDawhalier Dawhalier - 2013-04-04 14:19

      I'm just pointing out that the article may create a misunderstanding. It would really not be to (for example) anybody's benefit here to next time insist that the police officer or the clerk actually read through your statment because you think it is a requirement. You may come badly second and may have to search for a commissioner of oaths elsewhere. I had the experience not so long ago of a two-pipped police officer refusing to administer the oath to my statement because she (the stupid, rude rubbish) said she didn't know if the statement was the truth. She "knew nothing about it" she said. That is one experience in my book that counts squarely against the police. She must have been utterly stupid. Or utterly lazy. I was the only person in the charge office at that stage except for two other female police officers who were comfortably seated at their desk and happily chatting away on their cell phones.

  • Mawande Creame Strato - 2013-04-04 13:51

    National Police Commisioner shot herself with her service rifel while cleaning it - DailySun.

  • graham.dutoit.12 - 2013-04-04 13:53

    and who appointed this "person" to her position?

  • Nkosana Nks Buthelezi - 2013-04-04 13:56

    cele made the similar careless mistake,he just signed on the dotted line,you chose not to,please step down because you're not up for the job.if i may ask,did you apply for the post or someone decided to put you in power?im really questioning the people who iterviewed you.oops,you never went for it ne?may i see your cv?

  • Papikie Mothoa - 2013-04-04 14:12

    The out-gone police chief was relieved from his duties for signing a lease for building. Now this one have signed a document which ended up killing people. This one must me arrested for neglecting her duties that ended up taking lifes of other people

  • Kevinwilliams - 2013-04-04 14:15

    Rather claim insanity......

  • xchemistx73 - 2013-04-04 14:42

    Typical criminal mentality. She went from typing the document herself to unable to understanding English in a matter of seconds. What a great example of our messed up idols in action.

  • Tshepo Maganedisa - 2013-04-04 14:47

    Ha ha ha ha i know the song, this is the same song the General sang before his dismissal and i didnt dance to it that time but now that i know the lyrical content i am dancing - This woman came in highly recommended because of her educational background and guess what she goes on and do high school errors. Now the question is does she know what she is doing or what?

  • AndrĂ© Van Wyk - 2013-04-04 15:03

    We all knew she is incompetent but using it as an excuse is absurd.

  • Motsarami Christiaan Mahasha - 2013-04-04 15:13

    Who appointed this skull?

  • Bonga Kwanini - 2013-04-04 15:16

    Lkk at least now we know she can speak sepedi unlike Naledi Pandor, maybe thy should make Pandor Phiyenga's english teacher

  • Leon Scheepers - 2013-04-04 15:50

    I have to laugh at the "its not part of his job description"! - he is the Police Minister ffs - ANYTHING to do with the Police should be his job description! This comment is apart from the contempt I hold for the rest of the crap spewing forth from her mouth.

  • Johan5417 - 2013-04-04 17:20

    I am not surprised. Many people sign affidavits without reading their them and later regret not doing so. Would someone please explain to me what she is doing testifying before the Commission? She is the the new Commissioner and with the utmost respect knows b-all about police work. She could not and has not contributed anything of value to the commission. It has given guys with big reputations, like Bizos, target practice. What has he achieved with his cross-examination of her? A fat lot of hot air and nothing else. Utter waste of time and I wonder what her days of testifying has cost the taxpayer?

  • The_Don_@_Nkandla - 2013-04-04 18:25

    "She said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa asked her what had been done to deal with the situation in Marikana, but he did not give her advice on the matter as it was not part of his job description." And this UTTER RUBBISH comes from the SAPS Commissioner who seems to think - Lord Help us!! - that her own responsibilities and that of her Minister is regulated by fricken job descriptions!!!! Perhaps she did HRManagement 001 as part of her studies in the social sciences & she sticks to what she was spoon-fed then BUT what is quite clear is that understands nothing whatsoever about her own job and much less about the job of the political head of SAPS...Is his job description (or mandate as they also refer to it) proscribed in the Constitution? Are constitutional requirements subject to job descriptions? What a laughable statement! What utter nonsense! This person has absolutely no clue at all. Her immediate subordinates must be laughing themselves sick and crack new jokes about her everyday when they enjoy their drinks in the pub. JUST FIRE HIS SAPS COMMISSIONER NOW!

  • Van Jaarsveld Pieter - 2013-04-04 19:47

    Be afraid, very afraid of the police.

  • Terry Elkington - 2013-04-05 08:29

    She resigns, the cANCer will just put another idiot in her place !!

  • Ayo Mpili - 2013-04-05 12:19

    but i knew that she is 1 deserving the 'BETTER FIT OF THE DOUBT'. Attention to detail in the saps is a myth from the top all the way down. If she gets fired do understand that another like her will be appointed!

  • Phillip M Seopa - 2013-04-05 13:57

    Shame on you Phiyega

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