The presidential board of inquiry looking into suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office on Monday became operational with the appointment of an inquiry secretary.
“The Board has appointed Advocate Liza Tsatsi as Secretary,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement.
Zuma’s spokesman Bongani Majola said all further inquiries on the functioning of the board should be directed to Tsatsi.
The President established the board in September following a recommendation by the Farlam Commission of inquiry which examined the police’s killings of 34 miners on August 16, 2012 at Marikana during a strike at the Lonmin mine.
The Farlam commission report indicated Phiyega should shoulder much of the blame for the operational blunders that led up to the shooting.
The terms of reference of the board of inquiry include investigating whether Phiyega, acting with others in the SA Police Service leadership structures, “misled the Commission” by hiding the fact that they had authorised the “tactical option” during a management meeting on the day before the killings.
The board of inquiry would also investigate whether Phiyega, while taking the decision to go the tactical route, could have foreseen the “tragic and catastrophic consequences which ensued”.
The President also wants the inquiry to establish whether a report prepared for Zuma, and a media statement issued on August 17, was “deliberately amended” to hide the fact that there were two shooting incidents, “resulting in misleading the public that all the deaths had occurred at Scene 1 which arose out of members of SAPS having to defend themselves from an advancing mass”.