Marikana tragedy off-limits in Parliament

Committee chairperson Annelize van Wyk said the incident is being investigated by the inquiry.

Miners, arrested during a shootout at Lonmin's Marikana mine, arrive under heavy police guard to appear in court in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria, Monday, 20 August 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - No questions pertaining to the Marikana tragedy may be posed to Members of Parliament's police portfolio committee on Tuesday afternoon.

At least 34 protesting miners were shot dead during clashes with police at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the North West.

A total of 44 people, including two officers were killed in the bloodbath.

National Police Commissioner Riya Phiyega briefed the committee on various issues in Parliament.

The committee's acting chairperson Annelize van Wyk started the meeting by asking that no questions related to the Marikana shooting be asked.

She explained the incident is being investigated by a judicial commission of inquiry, which means some matters may be sub-judice.

But van Wyk then expressed shock by the mistreatment miners received from police, saying it was "completely unacceptable".

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) received complaints of police brutality against the arrested miners.

They have taken statements from some of the prisoners and are currently investigating the claims.

On Thursday, four committee members will visit the mining town to try and get to the bottom of claims of negligence.

Phiyega kept a straight face as van Wyk reiterated the South African Police Service's image cannot be dragged through the mud by such allegations.

The inquiry has four months to conclude its investigation.