5 May 2016

South Africa: Marikana - Phiyega's Inquiry Begins As Compensation Is Still Elusive

Photo: Government of South Africa
Riah Phiyega (file photo).

While the inquiry into suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega's fitness to hold office has began, showing signs of progress on the recommendations of the Marikana report, compensation discussions for victims of the massacre have stalled. By GREG NICOLSON.

The inquiry, led by Judge Neels Claassen, entered its second day on Wednesday, and heard from its first witness, the tactical response team's (TRT) Captain Monwabisi Joseph Ntlati. He was questioned by evidence leader Advocate Ismail Jamie about the decision to implement the tactical phase of the Marikana operation.

In an affidavit to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, Ntlati said of a meeting at 14:30 on 16 August, "During the briefing we were informed that the national management instructed that the police must act against the armed strikers as they have to be disarmed and dispersed. The POP members were to disperse the strikers and TRT will encircle small groups and disarm them (strikers)." On Wednesday he stuck to his position that he was told the order came from national management.

The inquiry into Phiyega's fitness to hold office stems from a recommendation of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. "The leadership of the police, at the highest level, appears to have taken...

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