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Marikana plan wasn't disastrous - Phiyega

National police chief Riah Phiyega says the Marikana incident was ‘deeply regrettable’.

Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says the Marikana was ‘deeply regrettable’. Picture: EWN.

RUSTENBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Wednesdays said she does not believe last year's Marikana operation was disastrous.

Instead, the top cop labelled the operation as "deeply regrettable".

Phiyega was cross-examined at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry about the police's conduct on the day 34 striking miners were gunned down by police at the North West platinum mine.

The incident took place on August 16 and made international headlines.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) questioned Phiyega about her views and the role she played in Marikana.

She said she did not agree that the operation was a disaster.

"I didn't agree with the concept that it was disastrous. We had a plan and we had to execute the plan."

Questions were raised as to whether it was necessary for police to pursue protesters who were running away after the first shots were fired.

The SAHRC believes the workers died as a result of poor police planning.

The commission's lawyer Gcina Malindi said they will prove that the shooting could have been prevented.

"The deaths, serious injuries and damage to property was as a result of a poor plan and poor execution."

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