First witness begins testimony in Phiyega inquiry

Captain Monwabisi Ntlati, who was part of the tactical response team in Marikana, is presenting his evidence.

Riah Phiyega and her defence team on the first day of the Claassen Board of Inquiry on 3 May 2016. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - After a lengthy delay, the first witness has started testifying at the board of inquiry into Riah Phiyega's fitness do hold office.

Captain Monwabisi Ntlati, who was part of the tactical response team in Marikana in 2012, is presenting his evidence this afternoon.

The inquiry will establish whether Phiyega and her senior police managers misled the Farlam Commission in a bid to conceal their involvement around the mass shooting.

Ntlati says he was in Marikana on the day that 34 miners were shot and killed.

He was part of the response team that was protecting negotiators and members from Public Order Policing.

Ntlati says they were ordered by national police management to disarm and disperse the protesters.

Phiyega's legal representative William Mokhari says he's not ready to cross examine the first witness.

The hearing will resume tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Union (Sapu) has once again called for Phiyega to do the honourable thing and resign.

Sapu says the enquiry is a waste of tax-payers money and time.

Spokesperson Thabo Motsose says, "The police service must be given police officers to lead it, not people who do not understand the dynamics of policing."

He says for policing to be in line with acting National Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane's 'back-to-basics' campaign, it needs to be headed up someone who works their way to the top.

"We need a police officer who goes through the ranks to lead the police service."