Phiyega’s fate lies in Zuma's hands

Evidence leaders said Riah Phiyega should be investigated to determine whether she was fit for office.

FILE: National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - While reports continued to emerge on Tuesday that National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega was facing the axe, it's been argued that it was ultimately up to the president to decide her fate.

A report compiled by the evidence leaders at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry recommended that Phiyega be investigated after the police's conduct at the North West platinum mine in 2012.

However, serious doubts have been raised about whether the final report into Marikana, which is yet to be released, will result in Phiyega or others being removed from their posts.

Evidence leaders said Phiyega should be investigated to determine whether she's fit for office.

They raise several issues about her, specifically about evidence being concealed by the police at the commission and claim she presented false evidence.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said the inquiry produced recommendations and not instructions.

"South Africa has a very poor record in terms of commissions of the inquiry being followed up with actions. Therefore it is unlikely that the Marikana Commission alone would be the reason for the removal of Riah Phiyega."

The inquiry, chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, handed over its final report to President Jacob Zuma last week after sitting for almost 300 days and hearing evidence from 50 witnesses.

Zuma has not yet released the final report to the public.

The commission was tasked with investigating the reasons behind the violence in which 34 miners were shot dead by police during a labour protest.

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

The police claimed they acted in self-defence.