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Marikana: Phiyega denies political interference

Phiyega has been recalled to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry to answer questions about a police meeting.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega (C) looks on during a break in proceedings at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday, 10 September 2014. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega has denied that political issues were taken into consideration when police were planning to disperse protesters in Marikana two years ago.

Phiyega has been recalled to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry to answer questions about a police meeting which took place the day before 34 miners were shot and killed by officers on 16 August 2012.

She said the plan was to disarm the protesters who were on a wildcat strike.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force.

Ten people were also killed in the days leading to the shooting including a mineworker, strikers, two Lonmin security guards and two policemen.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing the miners, said the North West police commissioner had indicated that the police did not want Julius Malema to diffuse the situation in Marikana.

He said this is why police pushed to disperse the miners on 16 August before Malema had the opportunity to address them.

"Would you agree that anybody would be left with the impression that Phiyega and the provincial commissioner were discussing political considerations?" Mpofu asked.

Phiyega disagreed, saying the only intention was to end the strike.

She said the meeting held the day before was to discuss the plan to disarm the protesters but she couldn't recall any other details from that meeting.

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