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Phiyega silent on Marikana claim

Riah Phiyega says the North West commissioner is in charge of probing the Marikana shooting.

Police look over at Lonmin’s Marikana mine workers who were protesting on 16 August, 2012 for more wages. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News.

RUSTENBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Tuesday said it was impossible to investigate which officer shot at wounded miners in Marikana.

A statement emerged from a policeman who saw an unidentified officer shooting at a wounded miner on the day 34 striking miners were gunned down in the North West mining town.

The deadly shooting took place on August 16.

According to a statement by policeman Wouter Myburgh, he saw an officer from the National Intervention Unit shooting at a wounded worker.

He said he could not identify the officer.

The policeman in question allegedly told Myburgh the miner deserved to die.

Phiyega said the North West police commissioner was in charge of investigating the claim.

The top cop refused to answer when asked that if the information was true, whether the officer's actions would be viewed as self defence.

Phiyega made the comments while testifying at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in Rustenburg.

The hearing was established by President Jacob Zuma to determine whether officers were justified in using deadly force against striking Lonmin employees.

Earlier, the commissioner came under fire for conceding that she did not know the specifics of the Marikana shooting.

She said people who witnessed the incident would be better placed to explain the exact details.

Phiyega continued to defend the police's conduct and stood by her original statement that officers used force to protect themselves from charging miners.

She also refused to comment on whether she will stick to her statement that the officers acted in self defence.

"I am consistent in my view. I would be very cautious to answer such questions on presuppositions."

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