Phiyega under attack because ANC govt appointed her – Ramaphosa

2013-11-06 08:55

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ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has come out in defence of embattled national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, saying she was under attack because the ANC-led government appointed her to her position.

Phiyega is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate after the South African Police Services’ crime intelligence division pressed charges against her for allegedly tipping off Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer that he was being investigated.

This came to light after Phiyega had suspended crime intelligence’s stop-gap boss Chris Dlamini on allegations that he had a fake matric.

Last night, Ramaphosa thanked the police union Popcru for taking a “principled position” in defence of the police commissioner “who has come under major attack”.

“I am pleased with your politics. Your politics is correct.

“They would prefer that she should be removed because she was appointed by the ANC-led government. And you are saying in her defence we shall not have that because she has not stolen money, she is not corrupt, she is doing her work, and you are supporting her in that. That is a principled position that you are taking,” he said to applause.

Earlier, Popcru president Zizamale Cebekhulu said there was a need to defend Phiyega as there was a trend that was “leading us to accept that only white people can be commissioners”.

“We say to the police commissioner: we are behind you. This country will not change police commissioners like underpants. It is stuck with her, whether they like it or not.

“The national commissioner of police did not come from heaven. She came from our ranks,” Cebekhulu said.

Ramaphosa, who is leading an ANC team that is trying to mediate in the Cosatu crisis, also used the event to urge the labour federation to deal with its matters internally. The federation as been in crisis mode since it suspended its general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, over three months ago.

He said this was the discipline needed for the ANC to win next year’s elections convincingly.

“The squabbles of a household are kept within the household. They are not discussed outside it,” he said in isiZulu.

Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said it was wrong for those opposing Cosatu decisions to take it to court.

He warned that those who wanted to “engineer a split” would not succeed.

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