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Vavi demands to know who killed miners in Marikana

Zwelinzima Vavi says if Riah Phiyega is not responsible for the deaths then he wants to know who is.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Congress South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says if Riah Phiyega is not responsible for what happened in Marikana, then the country must know who ordered live ammunition and mortuary vans before the day of the shooting.

Following a heated exchange with the South African Police Service (Saps) on Twitter where Vavi said Phiyega "must sit down" he maintains that the national police commissioner should be in prison for the 34 miners who died in 2012.

Earlier today, a tweet from the official Saps account said if Vavi could not prove that Phiyega personally made these orders, then he too should "sit down".

The police's Vishnu Naidoo says it's unfortunate that the exchange on Twitter went the way that it did but he says Cosatu's former secretary general's comments were irresponsible.

"To claim that the national commissioner is a murderer is unconstitutional and utterly irresponsible. It cannot be accepted especially for the position that Mr Vavi hold."

Vavi says if the police commissioner is not responsible then he wants to know who is.

"Who ordered 4,000 rounds of live ammunition? Phiyega should not be a general to start with; she is not the police and should be in prison right now."

Vavi says he is surprised by the police's comments on Twitter saying they should not be defending Phiyega and should rather be defending the people of South Africa.

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