Marikana: Phiyega leaves the stand, for now

A new witness will take to the stand at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry when it resumes in Centurion.

The commission is expected to hear the testimony of Major General William Mpembe, who police officers threatened to kill following the murders of two of their colleagues during the unrest at Lonmin last year.

In previous evidence by Lieutenant Colonel Solomon Vermaak, the commission heard that they blamed Mpembe, who is North West deputy police commissioner, for the deaths of their colleagues.

The officers, who were hacked to death, were among 10 people who died in strike-related violence the week before the police opened fire on miners, killing 34 of them, near Lonmin’s platinum mine in Marikana, on August 16 last year. The commission is investigating the circumstances surrounding all 44 deaths.

Lawyer Dali Mpofu, for the miners wounded and arrested on August 16, finished cross-examining national police commissioner Riah Phiyega yesterday.

While Phiyega had hoped it would be her last day at the commission, its chairman, retired judge Ian Farlam, told her she would have to appear again next week to be cross-examined by another lawyer.

This would be followed by her re-examination by Ishmael Semenya, who is appearing for the police.

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