President Jacob Zuma suspended Phiyega on Wednesday in line with recommendations made by the Marikana Report presented by Judge Ian Farlam. A board of inquiry will look into allegations of misconduct and her fitness to hold office.
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for Southern Africa said: “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”.
Muchena said it was more than three years after striking mineworkers were gunned down by police in Marikana and yet no one had been held to account. “General Phiyega is the first member of the South African Police Service to be suspended.”
Muchena added: “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 16 August 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.