‘Phiyega could be found guilty of murder or culpable homicide’

Riah Phiyega is facing an inquiry into her fitness to hold office in relation to the Marikana massacre.

Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Evidence leaders have argued that Riah Phiyega could be found guilty of murder or culpable homicide based on her knowledge of the police's plan in Marikana.

The Claassen Board of Inquiry has heard that Phiyega failed to ask pertinent questions about the police operation in August 2012.

Phiyega is facing an inquiry into her fitness to hold office in relation to her conduct during the mass shooting.

Evidence leader Ismail Jamie says the suspended national police commissioner should have asked police officers why they didn't move to a tactical phase on the morning of 16 August.

He says Phiyega should have foreseen the risk of bloodshed in the afternoon when there were thousands of protesters present.

But Jamie has pointed out that either way, she's guilty.

"She was not aware of the importance of the 6pm window period to undertake the operation, which should make her grossly negligent; or she did know of it, in which event she was grossly negligent and incompetent. If the finding is that she did know, then it's quite possible she is guilty of either of murder or culpable homicide."

Phiyega's legal team will continue with closing arguments tomorrow.