Here's why Phiyega must go - DA to Zuma

2015-08-04 15:38
Riah Phiyega (File, AP)

Riah Phiyega (File, AP)

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Parliament - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is unfit to hold office because she did not ensure policing at Marikana was impartial and unbiased, the Democratic Alliance submitted on Tuesday.

The submission formed part of a 16-page document to President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday on why he should fire Phiyega.

DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard listed various findings of the Marikana Commission as a prima facie indication that Phiyega had failed not only in terms of what was required by the Constitution and regulations, but was also complicit in undermining her duty to uphold objective policing.

Kohler Barnard requested that a board of inquiry be set up to look into whether Phiyega’s role and conduct during the Marikana massacre rendered her unsuitable for the position.

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry, into the shootings of 34 striking miners by police at Lonmin’s Marikana mine, recommended that an investigation should be conducted into Phiyega’s fitness to hold office.

Top cop ‘needs experience’

Kohler Barnard said in her submission that the commission was correct in stating that what happened at Marikana had highlighted the need for officers at the top level to have the relevant training, skills and experience in policing.

“By inference, it speaks to the need that a career police officer, who has the expertise and experience in policing and so understands the institutional nature of the Saps, be at the helm of the Saps.”

She said it appeared as though Phiyega lacked the appreciation of the function and duties that her office required.

Her submission was that the inquiry should also include a “comprehensive investigation” into her conduct and competency as a commissioner during her entire tenure.

“Following the tenures of Mr Jackie Selebi and Mr Bheki Cele, the tenure of commissioner Phiyega, as the SAPS's accounting officer, served only to compound financial mismanagement at the Saps.”

The party listed several areas where it believed Phiyega had failed to properly manage the police service.

These include:

- “No progress” made in addressing police brutality and criminality,

- “No decisive action” taken against officers found to have criminal records,

- Not addressing 39 000 operational Saps members without firearm competency certificates,

- No anti-hijacking, narcotics or anti-gang units for the police,

- Not empowering station commanders to be innovative with their policing strategies,

- "Driving a tax-funded witch-hunt” against KZN Hawks head Major General Johan Booysen,

- Not saying when the police will be demilitarised.

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

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