Phiyega, Lonmin discussed strike

Police chief Riah Phiyega said Lonmin management only wanted to negotiate with the Num.

Top cop Riah Phiyega says Lonmin only wanted to negotiate with the NUM, not miners. Picture: EWN.

RUSTENBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Tuesday told the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that Lonmin refused to speak to what it termed "faceless people".

The comments were allegedly made just days before police gunned down 34 striking miners at the North West mining town on August 16.

The top cop resumed with her testimony at the Rustenburg Civic Centre on Tuesday.

President Jacob Zuma set up the hearing to determine whether police were justified in using live ammunition to disperse the striking workers.

The commissioner said Phiyega met mine management several days before the fatal shooting.

She said the mining company refused to talk to the miners because the official union recognised was the National Union of Mineworkers (Num).

Phiyega said police then provided pictures of the striking miners and showed them to Lonmin's head of security, who confirmed they were mine employees.

She also claims she encouraged management to address the miners and reminded them of a need for a peaceful resolution to the strike.

Phiyega said she believed Lonmin had to take responsibility as the violent strike continued.