When the presidency moved this week to implement the recommendations of the Farlam report on the Marikana massacre, suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega had already filed court papers asking for it to be reviewed.
In a bid to clear her name, Phiyega is seeking a review of the report that led to a board of inquiry, which has now reportedly found she is not fit to hold office.
Phiyega filed the review application in the Pretoria high court after Judge Neels Claassen’s inquiry into her fitness to hold office wrapped up.
She contends that there are large sections of the Marikana report’s findings that were simply “cut and pasted” from the evidence leaders’ heads of arguments, and that the adverse findings have “impugned my dignity and reputation worldwide”.
Phiyega maintains that the Marikana report is riddled with contradictions, “a demonstration that the respondents [commissioners] have not applied their minds in preparing the report … My attorneys of record also studied the report extensively and identified profound similarities between the report and the evidence leaders’ heads of arguments almost word for word, an indication of a clear cut and paste by the respondents.”
She claims that there are no fewer than 113 instances of “cut and paste”.
Phiyega now wants parts of the report concerning her set aside, and stated that Judge Ian Farlam’s findings and recommendations against her were irrational and conflicting.
In the papers she lists several reasons the papers were filed later than the stipulated six months after the report was released, including the fact that she and her lawyers had to prepare for the Claassen commission into her fitness to hold office.
All three commissioners are cited as respondents but, according to Phiyega’s attorney from Werksmans, Sandile July, the state attorney will be responding on their behalf.
“We filed the papers and were advised by the state attorney that they will file an intention to oppose the review. But they still have not filed those papers.