Claassen inquiry: Phiyega must be removed from office

The report was tabled in Parliament last month and was classified as confidential but is now a public document.

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

PARLIAMENT - The report of the inquiry into suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says she must be removed from office.

Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee voted earlier on Thursday to declassify the report.

President Jacob Zuma set up the board of inquiry under Judge Neels Claassen two years ago, following the police shooting dead 34 miners at Marikana in 2012.

The report was tabled in Parliament last month but was classified as confidential.

It is now a public document.

The report says Phiyega should have foreseen “the tragic and catastrophic consequences” of the police’s decision to disarm, disperse and arrest protesting miners at Marikana.

The Claassen Inquiry found Phiyega to be “an unsatisfactory witness” and that she tried to avoid taking responsibility for the police action that led to the deaths of 34 miners.

The inquiry also found that Phiyega altered a media statement to hide the fact that police shot and killed miners at two different sites.

The report says this was serious misconduct and a breach of her duty to manage the police in an honest and open manner.

Phiyega was found not guilty of misleading the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the massacre.

The report says she did testify about the top-level meeting where the decision to act against the miners was taken.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)