SOUTH AFRICA’S SUSPENDED POLICE CHIEF REPORTEDLY FOUND TO BE UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE

A commission of inquiry set up to determine suspended police chief Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office is reported by local media to have found that she is not fit and should be dismissed.

The commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma after the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre in North West Province in 2012 when scores of striking miners were killed as a result of lethal use of force by the police had recommended a board of inquiry into Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office as Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has called on the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on the Police, Francois Buekman, to have the report of Claassen Commission of Inquiry to be tabled in Parliament.

DA Spokesman Zakhele Mbhele said Sunday it appeared that the final report had been ready since Nov 13.

Section 8(6) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Act stated that: “At the conclusion of the inquiry, the board shall submit its report to (i) the president; (ii) the commissioner concerned; and (iii) the parliamentary committees”.

“While the DA welcomes the finding that Phiyega is unfit for office, as we have long and consistently argued, we maintain that the terms of reference of the inquiry should have been widened to include all of Phiyega’s failings during her tenure so that the premise for arriving at this accurate conclusion was a comprehensive one. The DA made submissions last year to President Jacob Zuma to this effect,” Mbhele said.

Phiyega had presided over the “persistent and chronic decline” of the SAPS and compromised its ability to ensure that ordinary South Africans were safe and secure in their homes, workplaces, and on the streets, he Mbhele added.

“It is now time that our police service is led by experienced and competent senior management with integrity who will ensure the safety of all South Africans by capacitating every police station with the personnel, vehicles, facilities, equipment, and training they need to combat crime effectively,” Mbhele said.

However, another opposition party, the Congress of the People (COPE), says Phiyega is not solely to be blamed for the death of 34 workers at the Lonmin Platinum Mine at Marikana in 2012.

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the Marikana massacre could not be blamed on one person and Phiyega must not be the only person found guilty and be made a scapegoat to cover up for senior leaders in government.

“We … believe that it can’t be that Riah Phiyega alone must take full responsibility. (Former Police Minister) Nathi Mthethwa and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must not only be declared unfit to hold their positions but must be charged for the massacre in Marikana,” said Bloem.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK