Debate politics and police - new chief

2012-06-14 16:21

Pretoria - The issue of political interference within the SA Police Service (SAPS) will need to be debated, newly-appointed police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega said on Thursday.

"If there is merit or no merit [to allegations of political interference], for me the jury is still out," Phiyega told reporters in Pretoria.

"Are we confused about issues of political interference?," she asked.

Phiyega said it was a case of political interference versus political involvement.

"You get the political side of the police."

She said those on the political side of the police were elected by the people of South Africa.

It needed to be debated whether political involvement was getting confused with political interference.

"With experience, I will give a better interpretation," said Phiyega.

Tackling corruption was high on her priority list.

"There is corruption in the system... Something needs to be done."

However, she said it was everywhere.

Phiyega's first full day on the job will be Friday, when she meets police senior management.

She said she would be going to her office for the first time on Thursday afternoon.

President Jacob Zuma announced Phiyega's appointment on Tuesday, after he had fired former police commissioner Bheki Cele.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-06-14 16:26

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -Isaac Asimov

      john.nel.927 - 2012-06-14 19:11

      There can NEVER be politics in the police, whether its involvement or interference. The police are a politically neutral body to SERVE all of us. Their one and only goal is to prevent, investigate and pursue criminal activity without fear or prejudice. Mama Phiyega, you are no longer a politician. You are a police woman. Confuse those lines at your peril...

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-06-14 16:34

    typical woman, first thing you do is turn on the spin cycle ;-)

      Willie - 2012-06-14 16:46

      @joe.farmer.92775 ---women basher,try something else @lynn.syme.1 ---- shame on you if your are woman

      joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-06-14 16:52

      @makenawn; I would but my wife won't let me.

  • Kala - 2012-06-14 16:40

    Why do the ANC want to debate everything? The police are there to protect the country's citizens and enforce the law. There's nothing to debate.

      bob.small.7547 - 2012-06-14 17:40

      They use the debate issue as a tactic for time to think it out, used more often than not when they are confused and don't really know what the hell is going on!

  • Rob - 2012-06-14 16:41

    Don't be daft, they are exactly the same thing. Police job is defined by the law, if politicians want to engage police then they must try to change the law and do that at extreme arms length, Why? Because the police is there to serve and protect....everybody....regardles of political stance, opinion or position. Mincing words like this statement about political involvement is a clear indication that she is going to be a we go again.

  • herman.brummer - 2012-06-14 16:43

    She does not have a clue does she... no police background, no qualifications for the job, she did not study criminology What a "#$%!"% joke, SA has become. Long live incompetence.

      Ted - 2012-06-14 16:49

      I don't think you have a clue either. I think you really believe Obama had all military qualifications to run the best war machinery in the world as Commander in Chief!

      Bois-TĂȘte - 2012-06-14 16:53

      Well said. Just not to forget elGeneral, she, was appointed by elSpear.

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-06-14 17:25

      She has social science qualification, which actually makes her even more qualified than the previous commissioners. Criminology mister, is needed by her detectives, her job is to manage them, if she could manage chartered accountants, why can't she manage the police . We are making our country a joke by giving silly comments like this.

      cyberdog.breath - 2012-06-14 20:21

      @Ted, erm, that's a really poor argument. Obama is an attorney, and actually taught law. He has been in politics for more than 15 years. The woman who has become a police commissioner has about, erm, more or less, erm, lets say, zero experience in the field. Also if you look at her profile, her career appears very flaky with vague positions, mostly as chairman or non executive members in more places than appears normal. All related in one way or another to transnet and absa. Seriously, in what way does any of that give her experience in Law, criminology, politics, or even any executive position. And none of which explains how she will turn around a segment of society that is known to be riddled with more crime than this same segment attempts to address. Well, then again, if transnet and absa is anything to go by, I do not really hold much hope. This reckless stunt smacks of another smokescreen by the ANC spin doctors to distract everyone while zuma spears them from behind, before they can realize what has happened....

  • Ted - 2012-06-14 16:46

    Good start. I know for sure that there are some self-righteous people amongst us who will throw the first stone. Yet a few minutes later, when there is a rape or murder, they make it a point that its a political/ANC issue. It may help clear the anti-government rabies that has seized some people especially as they complain day in day out about how 'useless' this government is in combating crime. I always favour new brooms!

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-06-14 17:50

      Well said Fred! (has a nice ring to it)

  • Bomb - 2012-06-14 16:53

    Typical ANC response, which underlines the fact that she is a political appointment. If the ANC could deliver services at the same pace as they can debate, deny, lekgotla, appeal, apply, object, blame and multiply, then this country would be the best in the world.

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-06-14 16:58

    Let's give her a chance. But her comment 'with experience I can give a better interpretation' might lead people to think she that she's going to use the excuse of not being experienced enough every time an incompetency arises.

      ratsaka.eugene - 2012-06-14 17:08

      Spoken like a true South African. I think she'll do us justice for trusting in her. That comment only shows that she is willing to take note and advise from her colleagues and subordinates, unlike the ones who will dive in head-first, because they claim to know it all. I still believe that our county need more women (70%) than it needs us men.

      Dee - 2012-06-14 17:41

      What comes to my mind is a biblical proverb : "See you a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. ie. If she has made "I have all the answers" type responses today - I would certainly have written her off as a fool......... and I LOVED her "You dont have to be a drunkard to run a bottle store" response. BRAVO woman - I predict that you are going to be one of JZ's more inspired appointments:)))

  • Benson - 2012-06-14 17:02

    There is nothing better that Zuma came with on that Presidency is just after ladies thats why he gave them the positions because he is after something from them.Maybe he think this country is belong to Zuma's femaly he can do what ever he want to do not knowing that is the majority of south africa they put him there. You must'nt elect your girlfrends there with out contacting South African people Zuma and sele udinile ngoku you must move out now please

  • Rob - 2012-06-14 17:09

    At the last count ( the Commissioner is assisted by five Deputy Commissioners and fourteen Divivional Commissioners. She is a long way from the coalface and has this group of hopefully experienced and competent managers to advise her on operational issues. That is not to say that ignorance of policing issues is acceptab;e, just that I believe that the most important component here is her leadership capabilities. That includes making intelligent public statements, so far we have two really bad ones, this obfuscation about political interference and the wierd comment about teaching a drunkard to run a bottle store: I hope she wakes up to the importance of leadership image, and really soon!

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-06-14 17:10

    I think she must be given an opportunity to prove herself.

      Honest - 2012-06-14 17:35

      100% in agreement , let us not be quick to judge , she stars Friday i.e Tomorrow. She has a big team of carreer police managers at all levels so she is not going to execute arrests , she merely needs to understand processes and make sure they are followed.Arrests , court appearances to give evidence etc remain a duty of the police , if you manage a milk farm you don`t personally do the milking of the cows , nothing different here . I think we are too negative at the moment , the office you occupy currently , you had to learn all the processes when you started . Also she has been appointed to various Executive positios , what does that tell you about her Intellectual capacity or do you not believe she can deliver and what do you base that on ?

      Rob - 2012-06-14 17:54

      Honest: See my comment above. Yes you are right about her involvement at grass roots, but she should rather keep quite than discredit herself until she has more confidence in her capabilities. If I were in her management team I would be embarrased right now...but perhaps I expect too much. On the other hand she has been touted as a very experienced leader so she really should know better, or was that all window dressing/CV construct?

  • sorryson3 - 2012-06-14 17:27

    Hopefully NO PINK SLIPPERS whilst out shopping during business hours !!!

  • Billy - 2012-06-14 17:28

    "Phiyega said it was a case of political interference versus political involvement. "You get the political side of the police." She said those on the political side of the police were elected by the people of South Africa." i never elected anyone "on the political side of the police". that was zuma, you must be delusional. trying to justify this by dressing it in a democratic "catch phrase" is.... oh but shes part of the ANC and you voted for the ANC, load of rubbish man. just because you are part of the ANC should not automaticaly qualify you for any position within the ANC. running a country is not like having a go in a junglegym..!

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-06-14 17:48

    Debate? what debate?? ther is NO PLACE FOR POLITICAL INTERFERENCE OR INVOLVEMENT IN THE POLICE!! your job is to catch criminals and bring them to be prosecuted and uphold the law EQUALLY without favours to anyone. there can be no involvement or intereference from ANYONE, including all MPs, ministers, prezident ETC. Furthermore, regarding an earlier press release, the commissioner does not have a year to "learn" while occupying the office. if you feel you don't know how to fulfill your position resign and let someone qualified step in.

  • mikemafifty.mokoena - 2012-06-14 17:48

    Mark my word!!!!By end of next week she would have violated couple of Standing Orders. Then she can be suspended pending internal investigation

  • malcolm.j.patterson.1 - 2012-06-14 18:06

    This Lady has an extremely hard job convincing the public she can actually do the job, lets face it everything the ANC Government has touched up to now has been tainted in corruption & controversy. She appears to be a business woman and maybe that's what's needed, a business approach to the problem of the police. WTF, in any other non communist/dictorial country this would not have been an issue.

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-06-14 18:06

    The lack of confidence from the people does not stem from her... It stems from Zuma's previous selections and so she's painted with the same brush. Sad but true - everyone is waiting for criminal allegations to pop up out the woodwork like in the past

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-06-14 18:06

    The lack of confidence from the people does not stem from her... It stems from Zuma's previous selections and so she's painted with the same brush. Sad but true - everyone is waiting for criminal allegations to pop up out the woodwork like in the past

  • devenjoey.theron - 2012-06-15 08:29

    if ordinary pedestrians cannot find it within themselves..... cross at the correct crossings, and to wait for the little green man to flash....... .....then their next crime will be greater. ....look at all the criminals! ....there is not enough courts to jail a democracy of uneducated pedestrians! MAM-LADY POLICE....YOU HAVE TO START HERE! I have confidence in you, we have confidence in you. go out, and make a difference!

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