Police chief Phiyega applauds Marikana commemoration

"In the spirit of healing and reconciliation, all parties present behaved in a manner indicative of the respect being paid to all those who passed away over this period in 2012," Phiyega said in a statement on Friday.

She said police had been conducting operations in the area since Monday with a view to remove dangerous weapons from circulation and establish a stable and peaceful environment.

"From the early hours of this morning, police maintained a highly visible but low-key presence throughout the day," she said.

She attributed the day's success to the functioning of the Mine Crime Combating Forum (MCCF) which was launched on Wednesday.

Together with police, the mines and the union ensured that dangerous weapons were not carried during the commemoration service.

"The 14 mines belonging to the North West MCCF monitored buses leaving the hostels and informed the police when dangerous weapons were observed," said Phiyega.

Police then searched the buses and removed the weapons.

Organisers of the event had signed conditions of agreement and, when shown people carrying traditional weapons on the koppie contrary to the conditions, Bishop Sakhumzi Qiqimana appealed for them to be surrendered.

"The SA Police Service would like to thank all persons and groups involved in arranging, co-ordinating and attending this commemoration for the calm and mature manner in which the event was conducted.

"We were all well aware of the sensitivity of the occasion and the emotional state of many of the attendees," Phiyega said. – Sapa

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