A South African police watchdog has recommended that suspended national commissioner Riah Phiyega be deemed unfit to hold office and dismissed, the City Press weekly newspaper reported on Sunday.

Phiyega was the country’s top-ranking police official when police killed 34 striking workers near Lonmin’s Marikana mine in 2012.

She was suspended by South African President Jacob Zuma last year pending an inquiry into allegations of misconduct.

Reuters was not able to contact Phiyega for immediate comment but her lawyer, Sandile July, told the eNCA channel: “We have no idea what is in the report”, declining to make further comment.

The police shootings were South Africa’s worst since the end of apartheid and have become known as the “Marikana massacre”.

The Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party, said in a statement that the report recommending Phiyega’s dismissal should be produced in parliament, adding that reports indicated that it has been ready since November 13.

Zuma appointed Phiyega in June 2012, after sacking her predecessor Bheki Cele over the irregular signing of a lease for a new police headquarters worth nearly $100 million.


Cele’s predecessor, Jackie Selebi, also did not complete his term after he was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He died last year while on medical parole.