Phiyega to fight her ‘unfair’ dismissal

By Drum Digital
13 November 2015

By Thembisile Makgalemele 

Suspended police commissioner Riah Piyega is entitled to the state’s support if she decides to fight the findings of the reference group that was established by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.

Johan Burger of the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) believes that Phiyega has been and is still in denial of any unlawful act, and may take the matter to court.

This week police Minister Nathi Nhleko released the report of the reference group established in September 2014 to look into complaints by senior members of South African Police Service (SAPS) against Phiyega.

The reference group found that the removal of Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya and Lieutenant General Leah Mofomme who refused to accept demotion was in contravention of the labour relations act.

Burger believes that Phiyega constructively fired the two most senior cops because they had lengthy experience and academic qualifications. They posed a threat to her.

“Even the labour court did not accept her reasons for their dismissal. But she has been in denial of abuse of power.

“She is going to fight all the way. She has, all the time, denied any wrongdoing and believes that she is wrongfully accused by Minister Nathi Nhleko,” explained Burger.

This means taxpayers will fork out the money for her representation in court and for that of the state.

Phiyega faces another uphill battle. She is on suspension pending the outcome of a probe into her fitness to hold office, as recommended by the Farlam Commission, which recommended a board of inquiry into her fitness to hold office after finding fault with the police’s “tactical” plan to deal with the striking miners.

Thirty-four miners were killed during a violent strike at the Lonmin mines in the North West 16 August 2012.

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