The Commission of Inquiry set up to inquire into suspended police chief Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office has submitted its report to South African President Jacob Zuma.

The inquiry was instituted following the outcome of the Farlam Commission into the 2012 Marikana tragedy in North West Province, which recommended an inquiry into Phiyega’s fitness to hold office in view of her role in events which led to the deaths of 34 striking miners of a platinum mine when police opened fire on them.

Presidential Spokesperson Bongani Nqgulunga said Thursday: “President Jacob Zuma Thursday morning received the report from the Commission of Inquiry into Riah Phiyega.

“It was presented by (Commission) chairperson Neels Claasen. Now that President Zuma has received the report he will study it and its recommendations then decided if appropriate action must be taken going forward.”

A few weeks after 34 miners were killed by police in Marikana, on Aug 12, 2012, President Zuma, established the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ian Gordon Harlam, to investigate the tragedy.

Almost three years later, the commission released its findings and recommendations. Below are the recommendations, which included one for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to establish a panel of experts on dealing with armed crowds and on radically revising its approach to public-order policing.

On April 28, 2016, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko inducted a panel of experts to revise and amend all prescripts relevant to Public Order Policing and to investigate the world’s best practices and measures available for use, without resorting to the use of weapons capable of automatic fire, where Public Order Policing methods are inadequate.

The commission also recommended that “There must be an inquiry into the fitness to hold office of the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, as well as the North West provincial (police) commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo.

Phiyega has been suspended and an inquiry established to determine her fitness to hold office. Mbombo retired a few weeks before the commission’s recommendations were announced.

The commission also recommended that the SAPS be demilitarised as a matter of urgency.

On Aug 16, Police Minister Nhleko launched a Transformation Task Team to look into making operations of the SAPS more effective.

The Farlam Commission also recommended that Lonmin, the operator of the platinum mine in Marikana where the tragedy took place, be forced to comply with its obligations on housing for its workers.

The company has failed to build the 5,500 houses promised for its workers in Marikana. According to a report by Amnesty International, Lonmin has no intention of building the houses.


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