• Press Release

Suspension of South African police commissioner an important step towards accountability for Marikana killings

October 15, 2015

The suspension of National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega by President Jacob Zuma is a positive but long overdue step and will give some hope to the families of the victims of the Marikana shootings that they may finally see justice done, said Amnesty International.

Riah Phiyega was suspended on October 14, 2015 pending a review by a board of inquiry into allegations of misconduct and her fitness to hold office.

“More than three years after striking mineworkers were gunned down by police in Marikana no one has been held to account and General Phiyega is the first member of the South African Police Service to be suspended,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa.

“Her suspension offers an important indication that the government is now taking on board a key recommendation of the Farlam Commission and renews hope that attempts to cover-up the circumstances of these unlawful killings will not be tolerated. It also sends an important message to the families of the Marikana victims that justice may at last be done.”

On August 16, 2015 Amnesty International called for the suspension of all members of the SAPS implicated in the Marikana killings and subsequent cover up, pending the outcome of further investigations. /