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Marikana: Phiyega recalled, questioned by Farlam

Riah Phiyega says she endorsed the police's plan to disarm protesters in Marikana a day before the shooting.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega . Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says she endorsed the police's plan to disarm protesters in Marikana a day before the shooting in which 34 miners were killed.

Phiyega has been recalled to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry today, to answer questions about a meeting she held to outline the police's plan at Lonmin Platinum's Marikana mine.

Questions have been raised about whether police considered the risks and possible bloodshed when they were planning their operation.

Retired Judge Ian Farlam is asking the questions today. He wants to know exactly what was discussed and decided before the police went ahead with their dispersal plan.

"Are you telling the commission that not one of those experienced generals inquired whether there were any risks?"

The police commissioner said the meeting held on 15 August, 2012 was to provide support in terms of the operation, and the plan to disarm the protesters was approved.

"The issue of disarming the protesters was discussed. The detail of what was asked, I don't have. I don't have it in my head."

While Phiyega said it was no secret that police held a meeting a day before the shooting, Farlam said it's strange that the meeting was only brought up recently.

"The failure to tell us anything about that meeting on the Wednesday night doesn't square with the implementation of the promise of full cooperation."

Phiyega maintained that the police have always committed to full cooperation with the commission.

"I am on record and I'm putting it on record again, there was never secrecy around that matter."

She said details of risks must have been brought up but she cannot recall exactly what was discussed.

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