The Independent Investigative Police Directorate (IPID) has decided to criminally charge the suspended National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, in line with her role in the Marikana tragedy, and the DA is happy about it.
Riah Phiyega as disclosed, will be criminally charged alongside the former North West Police Commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo for their involment with the Marikana event in August 2012 where 44 people died.
Acknowledging the IPID decision as a good development which is “vitally important for ensuring justice for the families and loved ones of those that died at Marikana,” the opposition party pointed out that “Riah Phiyega and Zukiswa Mbombo cannot be used as scapegoats for those who bore the ultimate political responsibility for the tragic events at Marikana.”
According to the party, key political figures responsible like the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the then Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, Labor Minister Mildred Oliphant and Nathi Mthethwa who was the Police Minister then, “cannot be let off the hook.”
DA explained that “these senior political figures prioritized big business and financial self-interest ahead of the lives of ordinary South Africans who were merely exercising their constitutional right to protest. Criminal charges ought to be brought against these senior political figures as well – not just Phiyega and Mbombo.”
As such, the DA disclosed that it “will impress upon the SAPS to make recommendations to the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, upon completion of their investigation in terms of section 207(2) of the Constitution.
We will also write to the Acting Executive Director of the IPID, Israel Kgamanyane, requesting that he make public internal investigation that informed these charges so we can satisfy ourselves that all matters/persons were considered in its internal probe.”
The DA as well pointed out that compensation for families of those who lost their lives at Marikana is yet to occur. They wailed that “the families of those who died continue to suffer without financial support while President Zuma’s government drags its heels on this matter…
“President Zuma ought to take responsibility for what happened and ensure that the families of those who died are compensated and those with the political responsibility for the tragedy are brought to book,” DA stated and highlighted that “anything less is a failure of leadership on the part of President Zuma.”
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