Constitution remarks haunt Phiyega

2013-03-26 22:33
Riah Phiyega (Picture: AP)

Riah Phiyega (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Rustenburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega made derogatory comments about the South African Constitution during a radio interview, George Bizos SC, claimed on Tuesday at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, in Rustenburg.

Bizos questioned Phiyega about comments she made during an interview with radio presenter Redi Thlabi.

In the interview, Phiyega said criminals in South Africa were "absolutely brazen, because we have a beautiful Constitution that allows rights".

Bizos said: "You were asked why the criminals behave in the manner in which they behave. You were not asked whether the Constitution was blue or white.

"Why did you say they are brazen? Because our Constitution allows rights?"

Phiyega replied: "What I said was that our country has a good Constitution."

Bizos: "No, you didn’t say that, national commissioner. Whose rights were you referring to, the criminals?"

Phiyega said: "I thought you asked me what I said."

The senior counsel went on: "This is not a classroom in which we play with words. Please answer the question...

"Did you ever believe that the Constitution... coddles criminals? Have any of your members expressed regret that the liberal Constitution that we have is responsible for the criminality that we have?"

Phiyega said she had not.

Bizos said many people were of the view that the rights afforded to criminals contributed to rampant crime.

Phiyega said she had heard those remarks, but did not agree with that line of thought.

Bizos said Phiyega’s statement about the Constitution was "derogatory in relation to our Constitution and the rights it guarantees to the people of South Africa".

The police chief disputed this.

Bizos said there were many reasons Phiyega could have listed for criminality in the country.

Scuffle

Citing former police commissioners Jackie Selebi and Bheki Cele, Bizos said the criminality within high-ranking police officers and police brutality could be the reasons for the rise in hard-core criminality.

"Couldn’t the criminality be a result of the inefficiency of the police force, as it was re-named? Couldn't it be that they are brazen [the criminals] because of the number of complaints received about police torture and ill-treatment of arrested persons?"

Phiyega disagreed.

Bizos then asked her how many people had been killed by the police in the past year.

"I can get those statistics," said Phiyega.

Bizos's cross-examination of Phiyega continues on Wednesday.

Earlier, a scuffle broke out between police officers and a group of protesters outside the Rustenburg Civic Centre, where the commission is holding its public hearings.

Police officers seized a stack of placards from a group of protesters during the lunch break.

The protesters shouted at the police officers, accusing them of murdering the Marikana mineworkers.

"Shoot us all. That is what you are used to," a woman shouted at the large contingent of police officers.

"You have murdered our brothers. Phiyega must say the truth," shouted another protester.

Most of the placards read: "Do not let police get away with murder".

A police officer took the stash of placards into a vehicle parked nearby.

Marikana Support Campaign spokesperson Rehad Desai said the protesters had been angered by the "evasive" evidence being given to the Farlam commission by Phiyega.

- SAPA
Read more on:    lonmin  |  police  |  george bizos  |  riah phiyega  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining unrest
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
44 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.