Phiyega: Give me time to learn

2012-06-14 14:37

Pretoria - One does not need to be drunkard to own a bottle store, newly-appointed police chief General Mangwashi Phiyega said on Thursday, when queried about her lack of experience.

"I've never been a police [officer], but I want to say that you don't need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store," Phiyega told reporters in Pretoria.

"I can learn... judge me in 12 months’ time on whether I have a poor learning capacity."

Phiyega acknowledged she did not have all the tools necessary for the job, but said she brought a wealth of other experiences.

"No one is ever complete, but we all have something to give and I believe I have something to give."

‘Willing to work with anyone’

Asked how she felt about a police union saying it was an insult that a civilian was appointed as a police commissioner, Phiyega said she was not qualified to deal with that.

However, she added: "I'm prepared to work with anyone who will accept me."

Phiyega was appointed by President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, when he axed her predecessor Bheki Cele.

On Wednesday, Cele advised Phiyega to work with police officers who were out in the field every day, and not just the high-ranking officials.

"Work with the generals, but make sure you work most with your foot soldiers," he said.

"Take care of the foot soldiers - they are the people fighting crime."

Overwhelming task at hand

Phiyega said she heard Cele's message clearly knowing that this was what made him successful.

"We shall reach out," she said.

Phiyega said she acknowledged the overwhelming task she faced.

"In order to succeed, I acknowledge that it is necessary to consult, listen and learn.

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much; this is however, a responsibility we should take with both hands, soldiering on and in delivering on the mandate South Africans have entrusted upon us."

This would be complemented by leading and acting decisively, she said.

Over the next three months she would hold discussions with many police officers.

"We will be working towards a paradigm shift in the police. The training and development of our members will remain a priority... Strengthening the administrative leg will also be top on the agenda," she said.

No details of strategies yet

Improving internal and external relations in the interest of service delivery, and taking a decisive position on corruption, was also a priority.

Phiyega said she would meet police senior management on Friday, but would not give details on the strategies going forward.

"I am looking forward to wearing the blue uniform, taking my oath and getting involved with the business of policing."

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said at the briefing that Phiyega must be given the space to start doing her work before she outlines her vision.

"She needs to understand the environment first," he said.

Phiyega is the first woman national police commissioner in the 99 years of the police's history.

  • jeanette.labuschagne.5 - 2012-06-14 14:44

    I think she going to do a fine job.

      Ingwani - 2012-06-14 14:45

      Because she''s a woman?

      philani.goba - 2012-06-14 14:59

      a fine job learning..we dont need a freakin student

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-14 14:59

      No because she is willing to learn... unlike some others that think they know everything already.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 15:09

      Me too jeanette. The men have failed abysmally. I am sure she will do as good a job as the Public Protector is doing and I wish her every success.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-06-14 15:32

      Are you kidding me!? JZ is taking all South Africans for a bunch of idiots! What the heck does she mean "I've never been a police [officer], but I want to say that you don't need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store," !!?? SA has some of the worst crime stats in the world, hardly the time to appoint a police comish that uses a bs analogy that compares being head of the SA police force with selling alcohol!? WTF!!? WE THE TAXPAYERS, YOUR SALARY PAYERS ARE NOT PAYING YOU TO "LEARN ON THE JOB!!" ZOOOMA, you have completely lost the plot, you must be puffing a bit too much of the TK Gold! Time to give someone else a chance at running the country, you're clearly not interested in being president any more...My head hurts just thinking of the implications of how crime will escalate with this totally unprepared person now in charge of the SA police force...Haibo

      Joubs1957 - 2012-06-14 15:43

      @ zaatheist - Maybe you should start praying for her??

      Willie - 2012-06-14 15:59

      @ TSOTSI Smilification No start with Nathi Mthetha allegation of security wall

  • Ingwani - 2012-06-14 14:44

    The next president of South Africa must be an Asian or colored,Whites failed,blacks are failing as well.

      Rob - 2012-06-14 14:46

      Huh !

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-14 15:00

      Lol that's dof. Skin colour has nothing to do with it. Work ethic, morals and responsibility is what matters.

      Rob - 2012-06-14 15:03

      Better then a president with multiple wives & kids.

      Ingwani - 2012-06-14 15:22

      But Zille is white.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-14 15:24

      A gay man should be president. The queen knows best

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-14 15:40

      Clearly all you care about is skin colour. Get over your insecurities regarding your race.

      hosia.modiga - 2012-06-14 15:46

      hahaha Almeleh you crazy dude!!!

      marius.vandenberg.77 - 2012-06-15 02:48

      I couldnt agree more..1st generation coloured guy with black mother and white foreign father that speaks Eng /Afr and Xhosa et all and will appeal to the population and have the same wingnut ears as president Obama and has been interviewed all over the world that is well loved and respected and that will at least lighten up our days....I give you TREVOR NOAH FOR jest....LOLLLLLLLL

      marius.vandenberg.77 - 2012-06-15 03:28

      Do you know President Ian Khama of Botswana is of coloured descent? So how and in what way has this helped Botswana?? Also if you live in Botswana, they have no race classification, so what does he then classify himself as you may ask?? Well it's simple, he is proud citizen of the Rep of Botswana!! So why get so hang-up about the race of the Press or leaders od ZAR? The old regime had many lawyers, and doctors and well qualified people to do the job on merit. Where is our newly highly qualified young South Africans to take the reigns..? Too busy milking the democratic kapital system I gues.

  • keith.recore - 2012-06-14 14:44

    Indeed, maybe this will be a ray of light on the service. Let's hope. If she gets in the trenches with the rank and file officers, this will be a good sign for good things to come. What will become of Mkhwanazi? I would say most South Africans really want her to succeed.

      Clive - 2012-06-14 15:42

      Yes Keith, we do, but at the same time we won't be holding our breath.

      Dee - 2012-06-14 17:58

      I believe Mkhwanazi was standing next to her in today's media briefing? If so, that's heartening.

  • Stille - 2012-06-14 14:45

    Thats all good and well, but if you cannot handle the job, admit it, be a "man" and quit before we sink further into the cestpool we are currently in.

  • fussed.anderson - 2012-06-14 14:47

    Will you will last that long or made enough from crime to retire. As for excuses, dont blame apartate You inherited this from you own cronies remember

  • Wilhelm - 2012-06-14 14:49

    When I applied for work about 3 years ago, I was asked for paperwork and qualifications. When I said I don't have but can learn because I generally learn very fast, my application was declined on the bases that I lack experience and qualifications. Why is that. Is it a racial thing that if you are white you must be educated and if your not you can get any job you want. No wonder south africa is under scrutiny from other countries.

      Mtshezi Yonk'insipho Iyawasha Mkhize - 2012-06-14 14:55

      Bitter guy....

      hosia.modiga - 2012-06-14 16:04

      You applied to be a police commissioner Chana???

      Dee - 2012-06-14 18:04

      Wilhelm - at the executive management level, you will see many a CEO moving across industries. Posts here seem to think that the commissioner will be out there gun-toting & personally chasing down rapists. If she's any good at her job - she wont. But will sort out the planning, leadership, infrastructure, organisation, controls etc. I personally think that after many years of factions and political in-fighting, ONLY an outsider at the helm has any real chance of sorting LEADERSHIP matters out.

      onke.tshaka - 2012-06-14 19:23

      it's actually the other way around bud, a black man has to have a qualification to get anywhere in this country except for those idiots in power but for us ordinary citizens, we got to have a qualification, we don't have uncles who cut corners for us.

  • smiso.mkhonza.9 - 2012-06-14 14:49

    Lets give a lady a chance and see maybe she may do more than we expected.

      Sarah - 2012-06-14 15:01

      I also say let's give a lady a chance to give out what she's got. Maybe she might do a better job than the previous commissioners.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 15:11

      @Sarah I know she will. She would not even have to try hard to be better than those bozos.

      cyberdog.breath - 2012-06-14 16:19

      Sure, lets give a lady a chance, but at least let us pick one that has EXPERIENCE, know-how, skills, and is dealing in a field in which they at least know the basics about. There is no possible way that someone can run a field that they know nothing about. The police deal with people lives everyday, treating it as a simple business entity and putting someone in charge with no idea of the dynamics is irresponsible, and in poor judgment.

  • Sonwabile Langa-Nomvalo - 2012-06-14 14:49

    Be judged in 12 months' time to see her learning capacity...did she have to learn in it? were there not other qualifying people than this uknown? If she's that educationally learned, the only proper post to be in for administering, is that of Zuma...

      tallentonline - 2012-06-15 10:43

      The honest truth is.. Zuma does not want a qualified person to be employed because they will expose him!! Remember he is a Criminal himself and Employing thse that can see through him will put him at a disadvantage, it only make sense to him to employ those that won't turn against him in the process.. in actual fact, employing those that will always think "Zuma did me a favor by giving me this position" i won't dare expose him.. Zuma does not have the country's best interest at heart.. it's all about him and his family!! We are the taxpayers, we suffer in all angle's.. Can you believe that everything we lay our hands on we pay for it!! including free parking space - Why?? on top of the HUGE taxe's we are paying, when we buy grocery we pay for plastic bags, u can name so many things that we pay for and it gets ridiculous by the day.. It's VERY sad!!

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-06-14 14:51

    "I've never been a police [officer], but I want to say that you don't need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store," but you have to be a king to run a kingdom, and a #### to run this country

  • grant.schaefer - 2012-06-14 14:54

    Good luck, I am sure even without the skills you will do better than our last 2 commissioners! I still find it difficult to comprehend how a position on that level can be given to someone without experience in a similar position. Would Toyota, Microsoft etc give a CEO position to someone who does not understand their business and allow them to find out in a year - NO WAYS! CEO positions in this country get thrown around like candy, surely we should be able to expect more? I wish you well commissioner, do us proud,keep us all safe... after all we all deserve it!

  • Ditantane - 2012-06-14 14:55

    1 year to learn, then you will also be learning to sign lease agreements, damn.

      Pam - 2012-06-14 15:47

      I hope she get "apprentice salary" for a year! While people get raped and murdered.

  • Innocent - 2012-06-14 14:56

    Where in the world in these 21st century to give commissioner to learn a basic Policing,it a joke.after 99 year inception of police despite number of experience and qualified police officer.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-06-14 15:40

      100% Agree Innocent, all the police officers that have spent 20 - 30 years going through the ranks, why are none of them considered for the position!? This is whats wrong with Zuma, he thinks its acceptable to play with every single South African's safety and security. Let me make an analogy, if she was going to learn to be an SAA pilot, how many people would fly with her for a year whilst she was learning to be a pilot on the job!?

      valcooperRSA - 2012-06-14 16:01

      So all the Police that have been in service for many years do not stand a hope in hell of ever making it to the Commissioners position...and of course who will be guiding her to achieve anything ...the poor buggers that have worked their arses off to get where she is....thats where loyalty and hard work gets get to teach your boss your skills that you have worked years for....that sucks

  • almeleh - 2012-06-14 14:56

    If she was a policewoman she wouldn't need a year.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 15:13

      I she was a policewoman she would probably already be tainted with the rampant corrupt in the service.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-06-14 16:18

      @zaatheist You're generalizing, and its not fair to the brave and genuine crime fighters in the SA Police force that live each day knowing they could die doing their job. You make them a mockery with your cynicism.

      cyberdog.breath - 2012-06-14 16:33

      @ZAathiest: Remember your argument when one of your family members gets raped or dies through crime spiraling out of control due to even more incompetence. Calling yourself an athiest is an insult to athiests. Being an athiest means you demand proof that an entity exists, yet here you are blindly accepting that this woman can do a very challenging job without a shred of evidence to support that she is capable. Actually more evidence to support the fact that she cannot fill the position due to lack of experience in the field. Sure, give her a chance, but then you have to give God a chance as well. There are still a lot of police who are not corrupt. I have some of them in my family. Like I said earlier putting someone in charge of something which is peoples lives at stake is irresponsible and reckless. She should be working as an assistant first, to learn the ropes. Who are we going to sue now for incompetence...

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-06-14 14:59

    She is willing to learn, so i think that already is a positive step forward. Good luck Phiyega

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 15:13


  • donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-06-14 14:59

    She must defnitely be one of Zuma's floozies,there can be no other explanaition for her getting this job.

  • Lebo.Jeed.Tshepi - 2012-06-14 14:59

    U cn gt dat tym bt wl criminals n thugs b w8n fr u. Dnt insult us either u cn do da job or nt.

  • Rob - 2012-06-14 15:02

    Not a smart start! I very much doubt that a drunkard will ever learn to run a bottle store, and only a complete imbecile would employ a drunkard to do that. Well, maybe there is a hidden truth or Freudian slip in there somewhere, but I can't say that his has done much for her credibility. Of course she needs time to get to know how her top management team operates and the nature of the challenges they face....but if we have to hold our breath for a year we are all going to be blue and black. Be .tter hit the road running or you will be in trouble!

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-06-14 15:55

      Sometimes a language/culture issue does not translate well. Nitpicking to be seen to be saying something

      Rob - 2012-06-14 16:48

      raymond: At this level of appointment I believe we should expect fluency andliteracy, even though we will not often get them. You are welcome to your opinion too!

  • vicky.moolman.1 - 2012-06-14 15:12

    You don't need to be drunkard to own a bottle store, but you do need to have some business experience to ensure it stays open! It's like making me the head of the neuro surgeon devision at a hospital and I ask you to please judge me in a year. I have been to many hospitals,therefor I must be qualified..

      zaatheist - 2012-06-14 15:15

      Silly. She is a business woman and has wide experience. We don't need a police officer. We need a good manager.

      Hadebe - 2012-06-14 15:23

      Vicky, u have my vote, we dont need just a general manager here, we need a police who will lead police, give them guidance, a whole year? Where will we all be then?

      Billy - 2012-06-15 02:26

      because if you were a drunkard in charge of a bottle store, it would be a good thing?

  • duma.nkabinde - 2012-06-14 15:14

    Phiyega is the first woman in Saps to be elected as a police commissioner in 99 years, fellow Africans let's embrace our sister and give her the support she needs to carry out her duties. Aluta

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-06-14 15:59

      Her being a women, or a black, or a whatever has nothing to do with it. I am getting so tired of all this pigeonholing and classification of people. The only thing that is important is that she is a good administrator, has good credentials as a manager who gets things done and so forth. Viva non-racial, non-sexist society, viva

      duma.nkabinde - 2012-06-15 14:47

      Fellow Africans DICK.

  • jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-14 15:14

    "'ve never been a police [officer], but I want to say that you don't need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store," Phiyega told reporters..." Good chance you'll become a drunkard trying to sort this lot out. It may be your best chance of escape from the task at hand.

  • indianajohn - 2012-06-14 15:17

    Yeah. I'm going to apply for the position of CEO of my company. It's fine, I'll learn.

  • Siphiwo - 2012-06-14 15:20

    I am fully behind her and wishing her all the best, but....she must be very careful on how she interacts with the media. Stay off the media and do the ground work..that is my advise to her.

  • ziggamann.shepard - 2012-06-14 15:22

    OK you can learn the job but then on a learner's salary. I think thats fair.

  • rasthami.m1 - 2012-06-14 15:23

    Celes successor well its evident to everyone of us her inexperience any form of policing but a chance to prove herself is what she deserves before we can raise daggers of negative criticism -hopefully her leadership will stare change within the saps all the richard mdlulis will be rid off

  • twellington3 - 2012-06-14 15:23

    Time to learn? What is this woman talking about? If you wanted time to learn you should have first asked for internship before accepting the job. Does she think criminals will wait for her to first learn. This lady should be fired before she even starts!! Zuma and his useless appointments! Bring back Bheki ''The General'' Cele, no criminal will be hoving around right now, if he was still in the lead, they will all be dead!!

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-06-14 16:27

      As much as I hate to say it, I have to say it, I agree with you 100% This woman should never have accepted the job, just the fact that she has, proves she is clueless as to what awaits her. How the hell does a person learn to be a countries head of police, in one year? Its like a slap in the face to all the current senior police officers. Like shes saying, oh you guys are so lame, taking 25 years to get where you are, I'll just do it in one year, on the fly, you know, during my day to day tasks, busy being police commissioner...

  • Thabo - 2012-06-14 15:24

    Those who learn at work are classified as lernerships.

      fani.masemola1 - 2012-06-14 15:29

      Good Thabo. What we see is circus!

      Thabo - 2012-06-14 16:44

      Learnerships also take 1yr. Clearly and surely she is in a learnership. Its only a matter of time before a clerk is appointed as a brain surgeon.

  • anusa.yunusu.9 - 2012-06-14 15:24

    The world is going to an can u take ,a taxi driver to be a pilot,i don't think the plane could take off.there is no time to learn while u are there to fight president's adivisors are there to tarnish zuma's name.when time comes we will fire them all.

  • joemols - 2012-06-14 15:27

    What time? To earn a few millions?

  • thabojames.mohanoe - 2012-06-14 15:29

    sory madam we want competant ppl,crime is too high for u 2 learn. incompetant head of state appoints corrupt incompetant ppl. nxa.

  • jruppersberg - 2012-06-14 15:30

    So what Phiyega is actually saying is "I'm not competent" Surely there is a high ranking police officer with 20 plus years experience in the Police force that can actually do the job without needing time to learn??? Someone that maybe started out as a constable and worked his/her way up??? Someone COMPETENT?? Only a BANANA REPUBLIC appoints a lady with NO experience as a police officer as the head of the police!

      mavuso.ngcangisa - 2012-06-14 15:46

      I cudnt hav said it better myself Rupper, m actualy lost fo words, its taking a security manager frm ADT n make him a police chief, atleast he wud sum experience in security.

  • Abram - 2012-06-14 15:34

    haikona this woman like her predeccessors wont make it i mean to work or lead a police service is not like owning a business wena mfazi u need to serve the people with distinction not own the police.

  • Phuti - 2012-06-14 15:37

    12 months for who? We already have people in the system that we can 'plug and play'

  • hc12345 - 2012-06-14 15:39

    Good luck lady, if you are anything like my late Mother you would have them all towing the line in 6 months!! It seems like women are less apt to corruption than men.

  • Clive - 2012-06-14 15:40

    You see, this is the problem with appointing a non-cop to head the police. An experienced senior officer, with a proven record of excellence, could have hit the ground running. Now we are already having excuses as to why she might not be up to it, even if she is the highly capable administratror she is reputed to be - and I have no reason to doubt this. So the crooks have another three months to run amok while the lady finds her feet. But I suppose all that matters for Jake until December is that he gets all "his" people in the important posts to ensure re-election. Jake first, the ANC second, the country a distant third. He really is a disaster.

  • Phillys - 2012-06-14 15:43

    amazing how this bunch of ANC racists will not put a well trained efficient and un-corrupt non-political WHITE career police senior in charge of the police because of the color!!! Party loyalty is much further up on the list of priorities than keeping our citizens safe!!!

  • paul.classens - 2012-06-14 15:43

    Why dont we all apply for the position as the Police Commisioner since clearly you dont need to be qualified in the least... I could do with a state paid mansion and some fancy cars that I dont need to pay a cent for and I'm sure I'm not the only one... Everyone should have a turn atleast for a year since the salary package is more than enough to build a financial nestegg to either invest or live on afterwards provided you dont steal funds and sign off on corrupt lease aggreements. A daycare teacher could run the Police Force in South Africa considering what we have all seen over the years lol,infact a daycare teacher will probably do a better job than an experienced Police Veteran of the Force since it clearly appears as if the Police mostly consist of incompetent adult babies anyway unless I'm dellusional of course.

  • romeo.mahlalela - 2012-06-14 15:44

    Okay, let's put it this way: A new CEO appointee WITHOUT business acumen, experience and skills should tell the Executive Committee and staffmembers,that he/she need to be given a year or so to learn in order to manage properly, while the organization has got some experienced, educated and qualified personnel for that position. The question rises: Who is going to take his or her time to teach or show this rookie as how to do the job within the organizational structures and processes? At the same time, this ROOKIE will earn more than his/her colleagues, and also enjoys some privileges and benefits within the group. THIS IS FUTILE AND NON-SENSICAL DECISION TAKEN, BY THE SAME PRESIDENT WHO INSISTED THAT HE MADE HIS MIND WHEN APPOINTING THIS PERSON. What a Shame!

      Sonwabile Langa-Nomvalo - 2012-06-14 15:52

      Lol He made up his mind but still took a stupid, illogical decision.

  • valcooperRSA - 2012-06-14 15:48

    Corruption.....mmmmm.....maybe you should fire yourself already ....your appointment is a corrupt move

  • willem.els - 2012-06-14 15:49

    So in 366days when she has proven that she cannot do it, the government can fire her too but it is OK because by then her bags and bank account is full enough to retire.

  • hosia.modiga - 2012-06-14 15:50

    Eeeeeish did you tell Zuma about that!!!

  • Andre - 2012-06-14 15:50

    No time to learn, SA is burning!

  • fanie.smit.5 - 2012-06-14 15:51

    Check how many botle stores go bankrupt with managers that don't drink!

  • raymond.dick.12 - 2012-06-14 15:52

    I think sometime people moan and whinge for the sake of it. I remember seeing countless remarks about getting someone new that has not been tainted by the power struggles and politics within the police force. While it is true to say that this person is not the ideal, given her lack of policing experience, we have to acknowledge that the real problem within the SAPS organisation is its dis-organisation. So, give the job to some-one who can engender a properly administered organisation and the rest will follow naturally. We have some good police men and women in the service, in senior posts, who would be very effective in the right environment. They have been trained to be police persons and are probably not as capable as Phiyega at administrative issues. Stop moaning people and give her your support! If she fails, then whinge, whine and gnash your teeth. Good luck madam, I hold thumbs for you!

  • kmaruma - 2012-06-14 15:53

    By the time she learns all the tricks SA will be on fire

  • Pete - 2012-06-14 15:53

    She was booted out of Transnet by Ramos. Then she went to ABSA, but left as Ramos took over the bank. Mmm …

  • markallenrsa - 2012-06-14 15:59

    Peoples lives are at stake here.. you can't have a year..The SERVICE is already in a mess. There are plenty of career policemen in the system that could do the job, and make an immediate impact. Rather chose a crony from a collapsed province.. Rather use her in Limpopo to fix that. More of a business problem

  • cyberdog.breath - 2012-06-14 16:04

    A drunkard probably would be better off not owning a bottle store. Be that as it may, If you are learning, you should be a rookie, not a bloody commissioner. To be a commissioner should mean you know more about this field than the average rookie. What an insult. Anyone know how to spell cronyism? How about appointing someone om merit for a change...

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-06-14 16:06

    Is this person being serious. We dealing with the worst top five countries in the world quoted"I can learn... judge me in 12 months’ time on whether I have a poor learning capacity."

  • Sekwati - 2012-06-14 16:07

    you will learn? about a demotion....this is an insult to all provincial commissioners..

  • theunis.botha.96 - 2012-06-14 16:21

    Time to learn means spending your life as a career policeman,cutting your teeth at a police station as a rookie fresh out of training college and working your way up through all the ranks and by means of the applicable promotional acedemic exhams and qualifications.To have been subjected to personal experiances in various sections and departments within the structure.To know and understand the working of every little detail of the gears that drives this piece of machinery within the framework of appliccable laws,rules,orders and regulations.Without that,you are noting else than a duck on a shooting range,should it be from within or externally.