Sunday, June 28, 2015

South Africa: SAPS Management to Study Marikana Report
The management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has taken note of the findings and recommendations as well as the statement by President Jacob Zuma regarding the Marikana Commission of Inquiry's report.

In a statement on Friday, following the release of the report by President Zuma on Thursday, the police said management would study the full report.

The National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega, the police said, had received a letter from President Zuma regarding the findings and recommendations.

"The President has invited General Phiyega to respond by no later than 31 July 2015. General Phiyega will comply with the President's directive," said the SAPS.

Out of respect for the processes outlined by the President, the SAPS management has taken a decision that "no public pronouncements about the report, its findings and recommendations will be made".

SAPS said what happened in Marikana brought a lot of pain for everyone involved, especially the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased, as well as members of the SAPS and its leadership.

"It has been a difficult journey and regrettably, that journey continues."

The SAPS has assured South Africans that interim policing duties will continue as normal.

"A heartfelt appeal is made to all SAPS members on the ground and police management to continue serving the nation in line with our Constitution and the oath of office taken," it said.

On Thursday evening, President Zuma released the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the incidents at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana during 11 to 16 August 2012 where about 44 people lost their lives and many others were injured.

The commission of inquiry - chaired by retired Judge Ian Farlam, assisted by Advocates PD Hemraj SC and BR Tokota SC - was appointed in 2012 to investigate matters of public, national and international concern arising out of the tragic events.

The commission was tasked with enquiring into and making findings and recommendations concerning the conduct of Lonmin Plc, the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and other government departments, as well as individuals and groupings.

The commission made a number of recommendations regarding policing, including that a panel of experts be appointed to revise and amend all prescripts relevant to public order policing; 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 further recommended a full investigation, under the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions in North West, with a view to ascertaining criminal liability on the part of all members of the SAPS who were involved in the incidents at scene 1 and 2.

For the purposes of the investigation, a team should be appointed, headed by a senior state advocate, together with independent experts in the reconstruction of crime scenes, expert ballistic and forensic pathologists practitioners and senior investigators from IPID, and any such further experts as may be necessary.

According to the commission, the SAPS should review the adequacy of the training of the members who use specialised equipment such as water cannons and video equipment and all SAPS helicopters should be equipped with functional video cameras.

In operations where there is a high likelihood of the use of force, the plan should include the provision of adequate and speedy first aid to those who are injured. All police officers should be trained in basic first aid.

The commission further called for the staffing and resourcing of the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) to be reviewed to ensure that it is able to carry out its functions effectively.

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