Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
3 Feb 2017
6:51 am

Zuma to oppose Phiyega’s bid to have Marikana, Claassen reports set aside

Citizen Reporter

Phiyega has attacked the findings of both inquiries, saying they were irrational and based on errors in law.

President Jacob Zuma.

President Jacob Zuma will oppose national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega’s bid to have both the Marikana Commission and Claassen Board of Inquiry’s findings on her fitness to hold office set aside.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria this week granted leave to the president to be joined as a respondent in Phiyega’s bid to set aside the findings of the Marikana Commission into the August 2012 deaths of 34 miners who died in an illegal strike at the Lonmin Mine.

The president was cited as a respondent in Phiyega’s application to set aside the findings of the board of inquiry led by Judge Neels Claassen that she was not fit told hold office, but he was not joined as a respondent in her application to have the Marikana Commission’s findings set aside.

President Zuma appointed the Claassen Board of Inquiry to investigate Phiyega’s fitness to hold office on the recommendation of the Marikana Commission led by Judge Ian Farlam.

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Phiyega has attacked the findings of both inquiries as irrational and based on errors in law. She contended the Marikana Commission had acted “maliciously, in bad faith, displayed bias and failed to apply its mind”, rendering its findings unlawful.

In court papers she pointed the finger at now retired North West police commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo as the person who made the decision to use the so-called “tactical” option to disarm striking miners and said she had no authority to interfere in her handling of the Marikana strike.

The Claassen inquiry found that Phiyega had decided on the “tactical” option and that she should have foreseen that it would cause the shooting in which the miners were killed.

Phiyega has been on leave with full pay since October 2015.

Lusanda Mxenge, acting director-general to the Cabinet, said in court papers the president would oppose Phiyega’s application against the Marikana Commission.

She said the president has a direct and substantial interest in the relief sought by Phiyega, as he had accepted and implemented the Marikana Commission’s recommendations.

The president was furthermore also cited as a respondent in civil claims by some of the surviving miners and the families of the injured and deceased miners, based on the Marikana Commission’s findings.

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