Phiyega told to ‘go home and reflect’ on controversial SMS

2015-08-20 12:08
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

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

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Cape Town - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega must “go reflect” on the text message that she sent to a member of Parliament.

Chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police, Francois Beukman, told the committee on Wednesday that Phiyega had admitted to sending the controversial message to Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.

“What we need is serious reflection on the part of the accounting officer [Phiyega],” said Beukman.

He wouldn’t say if this was the end of the matter.

“We will see what happens.”

Both Kohler Barnard and Phiyega attended Wednesday's meeting.

Kohler Barnard raised the issue about the SMS – which she had received from an unknown number last week, after she made comments about the police on television – at Tuesday’s committee meeting.

The SMS says: “I am black, proud and capable and, get it clear, you can take nothing from me. Eat your heart out. I am not made by you and cannot be undone by you. Riah Phiyega.”

Kohler Barnard said that the message had a “threatening tone” and committee members from across the political spectrum were critical about the message.

The matter was postponed for a day so it could be established whether Phiyega did indeed send the message.

National police spokesperson Solomon Makgale confirmed on Tuesday night that Phiyega had sent it.

“If Kohler Barnard feels threatened by a statement of self-affirmation then it is unfortunate. The message was certainly not intended as a threat and it is difficult to see how it could be interpreted as such,” he said.

Phiyega declined to comment, saying that she would “respond at an appropriate time”.

Kohler Barnard said she was taken aback by the way in which the matter was handled by the police committee in Parliament.

“It was simply brushed aside. I don’t know who was leaned on here, but I was quite stunned that it was dealt with in a single sentence: go home and reflect on it. What is that?”

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  riah phiyega  |  dianne kohler barnard  |  parliament 2015

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