Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
24 Aug 2015
11:00 am

Net tightens around top cop Phiyega

Citizen Reporter

Parliament’s police portfolio committee yesterday welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s decision to institute a commission of inquiry into the fitness of National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega to serve as top cop.

Suspended Police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said the decision was a significant development. “We are in full support of this important decision,” said Beukman. Phiyega has not had an easy ride with the committee this year.

In April, it turned down her budget vote for the SAPS as the position of chief financial officer had been open for more than a year. Then, there was the statement issued by the provincial commissioners – now known as the board of commissioners – followed by the storm in a teacup over Phiyega sending a “private” SMS to DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.

The board of commissioners was ordered to retract the statement and apologise. Beukman said the committee would await the outcome of Phiyega’s inquiry. He noted the report would also be submitted to the committee. The committee would also scrutinise the police safety strategy and note how it prevents police killings.

Beukman said the killing of police had reached “intolerable proportions” and “any strategy intended to curb this needs to focus more on preventative measures, rather than reactive ones”. Two more police members were killed last weekend, bringing the total to nearly 60 so far this year.

“Two members performing normal patrol duties were apparently stopped by a member of the public on the corner of Wolmarans and Nugget Streets in Hillbrow,” Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba said on Saturday. The Hillbrow police station warrant officer and a sergeant then stopped two people on the street on the basis of the complaint.

The suspects refused to be searched and started fighting with the officers. During the struggle, one of the suspects got hold of the warrant officer’s gun and shot him in the upper body, fatally wounding him, Mothiba said. The suspect also shot the sergeant in the hand.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and is in a stable condition. The two men then ran off with the offi cer’s 9mm pistol. In another incident, an off -duty constable, 37, stationed at Laudium Police Station, was shot and killed in Jeffsville, Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, while sitting in his car. “Three unknown suspects, two males and a female, approached the car, shot the officer and fled the scene,” Mothiba said.