NewsSouthern AfricaSouth Africa: Police union shocked at criminal charges laid against commissioner

Fri,14Dec2018

Posted on Wednesday, 03 February 2016 15:37

South Africa: Police union shocked at criminal charges laid against commissioner

By Crystal Orderson

Suspended police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, is being accused of being complicit in the killings of up to 34 mineworkers in Marikana in 2012.The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has expressed astonishment that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) will would lay criminal charges against suspended police commissioner, Riah Phiyega.

IPID announced it had laid charges against four people involved in the Marikana shootings‚ including Phiyega and the former North West province commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo.

The fact that there are enquiries on top of enquiries leaves little to be desired

Phiyega is being accused of being complicit in the killings of up to 34 mineworkers in Marikana, in the southern African country's North West province in 2012.

A commission of enquiry into the killings recommended a full investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West province, to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the police service who were involved in the incidents at scene.

POPCRU said they continued to support Phiyega and they did not see any reason why she should be charged. "We are of the view that the matter has been turned into a point-scoring trial and is no longer about Marikana, but something else," Poprcu said in a statement released to The Africa Report.

"The fact that there are enquiries on top of enquiries leaves little to be desired. Why could they not await the outcomes of the enquiry into her fitness to hold office?"

They also viewed the charges as a deliberate "fishing expedition aimed at discrediting and tarnishing the name Phiyega" and to stop any possibility of her return.

IPID acting director, Israel Kgamanyane told parliament's portfolio committee on police that the team tasked with implementing the Farlam Commission's findings had registered criminal charges against Phiyega and Mbombo in September.

Brigadier Ledile Malahlela and Major-General Ganasen Naidoo were in January charged with defeating the course of justice, as IPID seeks to put a lid on the inflammatory Marikana issue.

POPCRU insists the Marikana report is a very serious and significant matter, which no one should trivialise for short term political and selfish ends.

Last June, opposition Economic Freedom Fighters laid criminal charges against Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Lonmin and Phiyega for allegedly conspiring to kill miners.

"There is prima facie case to commit murder of workers and Ramaphosa had put pressure on police and conspiring to kill workers," the party's leader, Julius Malema said at the time.

Last year, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was served summons against him arising from the Marikana killings.

"Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has instructed his lawyers to defend the action‚" the South African presidency said at the time. "We reiterate the view that the findings of the Farlam Commission remain clear insofar as they relate to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa personally."



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