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S.Africa police chief suspended over Marikana

Published on 14/10/2015

South African President Jacob Zuma suspended the country's police chief Riah Phiyega on Wednesday, pending a probe into her role in the killing of mineworkers by officers at Marikana in 2012.

The findings of an inquiry into the shooting of 34 striking mineworkers recommended an investigation into Phiyega’s conduct.

Zuma’s office said she was suspended while “allegations of misconduct, her fitness to hold office and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently” were examined.

The shooting of the miners on August 16, 2012 was the worst violence involving the security forces since the end of apartheid in 1994, and shocked South Africa and the world.

The workers were gunned down after the police were deployed to break up a wildcat strike that had turned violent at the Lonmin-owned platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg.

The inquiry established by Zuma put much of the blame on the police’s defective dispersal strategy.

No other person has been directly prosecuted for the massacre, and the families of the dead miners are seeking damages from the state.