Fire Phiyega - DA

2015-08-02 14:31
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Deaan Vivier, Foto24)

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Deaan Vivier, Foto24)

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance on Sunday called on President Jacob Zuma to fire police commissioner Riah Phiyega for her conduct at Marikana.

"The DA believes that by ratifying and applauding the police action on the day, Phiyega has unequivocally endorsed the lethal actions of the police at Marikana," DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.

"In her representations, Phiyega has effectively blamed her predecessor, Bheki Cele, for the militarisation of the South African Police Service which contributed to the death of the 44 mineworkers at Marikana."

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry recommended in its report, released on June 25, that Phiyega face an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Phiyega had until Friday to explain to Zuma why she should keep her job. She submitted her response around 23:00 on Friday, the presidency said.

The Farlam commission found that police leaders did not tell the truth about the events leading up to the killing of 34 striking workers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine on August 16, 2012.

"The leadership of the police, on the highest level, appears to have taken the decision not to give the true version of how it came about that the 'tactical option' was implemented on the afternoon of August 16, and to conceal the fact that the plan to be implemented was hastily put together without inputs or evaluation," the commission's report reads.

According to City Press, Phiyega was expected to blame her predecessor Bheki Cele's militarisation of the police and argue that she had only been on the job for two months at the time of the Marikana shooting.

Kohler-Barnard said whether this was true or not was irrelevant, because Phiyega congratulated police on the day of the shooting and publicly endorsed their conduct.

"Instead of admitting responsibility and stepping down, Phiyega’s response to the massacre has been one of disdain for the investigative process and disregard for the loss of life."

The DA intended making submissions to Zuma this week that Phiyega be fired.

The opposition believed a professional police officer should be made national police commissioner.

Phiyega said in a statement last Sunday that she disagreed with parts of the report.

"We have picked up some of the areas where we strongly disagree with the content of the report, such as the insinuation that management went to work that day with murderous intent. But this is a discussion for another day," she said.

There have been reports of low morale in the police because of Phiyega's leadership. Its board of commissioners, which represents the nine provincial commissioners, has said the criticism was unfair.

"The board has noticed a tendency to reduce everything, especially negative issues relating to policing, to the person of the national commissioner, as if the Saps is a one-person show," it said in a statement.

"It is therefore appropriate that the board publicly declares its full support for General Phiyega, and fully endorses her efforts in turning around the Saps."

Read more on:    da  |  riah phiyega  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  marikana inquiry
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