Phiyega didn’t see Marikana police plan

Top cop Riah Phiyega says police must take more responsibility for their actions in Marikana.

Top cop Riah Phiyega tells the Marikana inquiry that she did not see the operation plan for the police during the Marikana unrest. Picture: EWN.

RUSTENBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Wednesday admitted to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that she did not see the police's operational plan prior to the deadly Marikana shooting.

The top cop made the comments during cross-examination at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

President Jacob Zuma set up the inquiry after 34 striking Lonmin workers were gunned down by police at the North West mining town on August 16.

The hearing is trying to determine if police were justified when they opened fire on the miners.

Workers were protesting for higher wages and better working conditions.

Advocate George Bizos questioned Phiyega about what she knew about the police's operation.

She conceded that she had no prior knowledge of the plan.

Phiyega said she does take responsibility for the police, but individuals also need to take responsibility for their actions.

Bizos maintained that the police commissioner had an attitude that the police could do nothing wrong.

He added that Phiyega defended their actions from the day the deadly shooting took place.

Bizos also compared the incident to the 1976 Sharpeville massacre.

He suggested that the country made the same mistakes leading to civilian deaths at the hands of police.

But the top cop said protesters were not armed in Sharpeville, unlike Marikana miners.

Bizos said evidence will show that the majority of protesters were not armed before they were shot.

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