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Marikana families horrified at Phiyega's behaviour

Sapa

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega has sparked outrage after being seen laughing and joking during the viewing of a video of the Marikana shooting.

Top cop Riah Phiyega has sparked outrage after being seen laughing and joking during the viewing of a video taken during the Marikana shooting. (Madelene Cronjé, M&G)

National police commissioner Phiyega reportedly laughed and joked as footage of the killing of 34 miners in a clash with police was screened at the Farlam commission of inquiry, the Times reported on Wednesday.

Phiyega reportedly joked with a state law adviser as a prelude to the killings was screened at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

Surrounded by her senior officers, Phiyega smiled as she watched.

It was only after screams of horror echoed across the room, as the footage was played without any warning, that Phiyega's "humorous demeanour changed to that of an ice queen, blatantly ignoring the wailing families", the report continued.

" ... Phiyega stared straight ahead, ignoring a widow screaming at her for answers about her husband's death," the newspaper reported.

"Why did they do this? Why did your policemen kill my husband? What did he do?" the woman screamed at her.

Later she was seen comforting one of the widows of the two police officers killed ahead of the August 16 shooting.

Asked repeatedly for comment on why she did not help those upset, and what she had been joking about, Phiyega said: "I am not here for that. I am here for the commission and the commission only."

Bishop Jo Seroka, a talks facilitator for the miners, said: "Her actions were disturbing ... She sat there laughing and did nothing. You would expect a sense of remorse and empathy which was non-existent."

"Her behaviour is disgusting. What she did is unbecoming of a person such as her who purports to be a leader of some kind," he said.

With elderly men openly weeping as they watched footage of their sons dying and paramedics frantically trying to revive several women who had collapsed, Phiyega ignored the pandemonium that played itself out in front of her.

She was later seen comforting one of the widows of the two police officers murdered along with eight other people in the days before the bloodbath.

Asked repeatedly for comment as to why, as a mother she had not shown any empathy, tried to comfort the bereaved and what she had been joking about, Phiyega lashed out.

"I am not here for that. I am here for the commission and the commission only," she snapped. – Sapa

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