Cope comes to Riah Phiyega’s defence

Cope says suspended police commissioner Riah Phiega should not have to shoulder all the blame for what happened in Marikana.

Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega held a briefing in Sandton while investigations into her involvement in the fatal Marikana shootings which led to the death of over 30 miners. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Congress of the People (Cope) says suspended police commissioner Riah Phiega should not have to shoulder all the blame for what happened in Marikana after the Claasen Commission of Inquiry concluded that she is unfit to hold office and should be dismissed.

At least 34 miners were shot dead by police during a standoff in Marikana in the North West when miners protested at Lonmin mine for a salary increment in August 2012.

The party's Dennis Bloem said, “Riah Phiyega cannot take the blame on her own. Nathi Mthethwa and Cyril Ramaphosa must also take blame for what happened in Marikana.”

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance has released a statement saying they will write to the portfolio committee on police requesting that the findings of the inquiry be tabled before parliament.

Phiyega's lawyers have since said they will not be commenting on reports that their client has been given the boot until the board makes the findings available to them.