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Phiyega to know her fate in two months

The inquiry relates to Phiyega’s conduct during the mass shooting in Marikana in 2012.

Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega listens to representation by Advocate Dali Mpofu during closing arguments at the inquiry into her fitness to hold office in Centurion on 1 June 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has about two months before she will know her fate after facing a board of inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Closing argument wrapped up this week in Centurion, with evidence leaders claiming the suspended National police commissioner misled the Farlam Commission and is guilty of misconduct.

The inquiry relates to Phiyega's conduct during the mass shooting in Marikana in 2012.

Phiyega's lawyer, William Mokhari, said evidence leaders have tried to prove she's guilty but have failed to put forward substantial evidence.

"Then we've the Clutching at Straws, taking even some small things which have no significant whatsoever. I mean when the National Commissioner, in her own representation to the president, she extensively quote from that document, so how can she quote from the document which does not exist?"

Phiyega has been accused of not asking pertinent questions about the police's operation and failing to take control of the situation in order to prevent bloodshed.

The suspended national police commissioner's had two legal representatives presenting closing arguments today.

First, Advocate Mahlape Sello argued that provincial commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo was responsible for making the decision, to move to a tactical phase in Marikana.

Mokhari claimed evidence produced was unreliable and that evidence leaders have relied on issues that are outside the terms of reference.

"Based on the evidence that we have presented, they should actually acquit her of all the charges."

Evidence leaders are expected to submit a written reply in two weeks.

They've argued that Phiyega could be found guilty of murder or culpable homicide based on her knowledge of the police's plan in Marikana.

Evidence leader Ismail Jamie said 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 said 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."

The final report is expected to be handed to President Jacob Zuma in August.

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