Hands off Riah Phiyega – ANC

2013-10-30 15:36

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Calls for the suspension of national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega are irresponsible, ANC chief whip Stone Sizani has said.

He accused the DA of seeing “every development in the police department as a political points-scoring opportunity”.

“It is a destructive and opportunistic form of opposition as it runs counter to our ongoing effort of building a stable and efficient police service through a constructive parliamentary oversight.”

The DA yesterday said Phiyega should be suspended pending the outcome of a probe into allegations that she defeated the ends of justice.

MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said there were grounds for suspension, under the Labour Relations Act, if an employee was implicated in misconduct, if there was prima facie evidence of guilt, and if the employee could unfairly influence a probe.

Stone said this call for her suspension was “plain politicking devoid of any sound factual foundation”.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said on Tuesday it would investigate the allegations against Phiyega.

Phiyega is accused of tipping off Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer about investigations against him.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said today the Ipid should be given time to probe the allegations. Once it had finalised them it would send a report to Mthethwa with recommendations.

According to reports, Phiyega told Lamoer on three occasions that she was aware he was under investigation.

The Sunday Independent reported that their telephone conversations had been legally recorded by crime intelligence operatives monitoring Lamoer’s calls. He was allegedly associated with a Cape Town drug dealer and well-known businessman.

In the conversations, Phiyega reportedly made Lamoer aware of similar allegations by Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.

According to the report, the disclosures outraged crime intelligence operatives, who had threatened to lay criminal charges against Phiyega.

Phiyega has denied tipping Lamoer off.

Yesterday, Phiyega’s spokesperson, Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale, said the commissioner welcomed the probe.

“The national commissioner still maintain(s) that she committed no crime,” he said.

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