Riah Phiyega did the right thing – Zuma

2013-09-03 17:03

Only angels don’t make mistakes, but police commissioner General Riah Phiyega did the right thing by rectifying her mistake, President Jacob Zuma has said.

This was in reference to Phiyega reversing her appointment of Major General Mondli Zuma as Gauteng police commissioner after finding out that he has to appear in court on drunk-driving charges later this month.

Zuma told journalists on the sidelines of a breakfast at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria this morning that he remained “confident” about Phiyega, a year after he appointed her.

“She’s competent. I think she’s able to do her job. So far, I think she’s absolutely wonderful.”

He said she did the right thing by immediately reversing the Gauteng police commissioner’s appointment.

“Unless you say there are angels who don’t make any mistake at all, (or say) if you make a mistake, you are useless.

“It was a mistake. As soon as she got to know about it, she did something about it ... She immediately acted to undo the appointment. What more do you want from the commissioner?

“I think she is doing the right thing, so I feel confident.”

Zuma said a report was being compiled on how it came that someone with a criminal case pending could be appointed.

“That report will come to me about what actually happened, and I’m sure I would be able to then make up my mind and say the system is wrong, or the system may not be wrong, it might be the individuals using the system who are wrong.”

He said: “(Once the report came), I’d be in a better position to say ‘change the system, or change the people’.”

Zuma also said Phiyega should not bear the blame for the police shooting at Marikana last year, where 34 people were killed.

He said she hadn’t been in her position for long when the incident happened.

He said in South Africa a lot of police officials got killed.

“We are dealing with a very volatile country,” he said.

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