Police minister launches top cop probe

2014-10-26 10:15
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has established a task team, described as a “reference group” to investigate issues that are the responsibility of national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

According to the Sunday Independent, the group will investigate all the appointments, suspensions and disciplinary and criminal proceedings involving senior management and the alleged involvement of police officers in illegal renditions, problems in crime intelligence as well as problems the SAPS has faced in its transformation process.

The group will also investigate allegations that Phiyega alerted Western Cape Provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer about a probe into his alleged links with drug lords.

They will also probe allegations that top management has been targeted and that fictitious charges have at times been brought against them in order “to get rid of them”.

A source from inside the group said there was a lot of unhappiness in the force.

No probe into Phiyega

This comes after the Presidency denied reports last month that President Jacob Zuma had appointed a committee to investigate allegations against Phiyega.

At the time, News24 reported that Zuma’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj said: "The media reports to that effect are incorrect."

According to Sapa, the Sunday Independent had reported that Zuma had ordered a ministerial probe into Phiyega's conduct. The police ministry had reportedly finalised terms of reference and was securing legal advice.

Tip-off allegations

According to the report, citing unnamed sources, a committee would investigate, among others, allegations that she tipped off Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer about an investigation against him by crime intelligence, and that she misled the public when she claimed she was not aware Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma faced criminal charges when she appointed him Gauteng police commissioner.

In October last year, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it would investigate allegations that Phiyega had tipped off Lamoer.

When it completed its investigation, it referred the docket to National Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mxolisi Nxasana.

Fresh allegations

Last month, the National Prosecuting Authority said it would not pursue complaints of defeating the ends of justice against Phiyega.

At the time, spokesperson Nathi Mncube said that after considering the statements and evidence in the docket the DPP declined to prosecute.

"It is considered that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution."

According to The Witness newspaper, Phiyega faced fresh allegations of seizing phone recordings of Durban businessman Thoshan Panday. Suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen probed Panday's involvement in a R60m police accommodation tender scam and his phone was tapped.

The Witness reported that Phiyega ordered the tapes be handed over and taken to Pretoria a few days before Booysen was exonerated in a police disciplinary hearing.

Read more on:    arno lamoer  |  riah phiyega  |  nathi nhleko

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