People I worked with are being harassed - Phiyega
Johannesburg – Suspended national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, has claimed her colleagues have been targeted by her enemies.
"People that I worked with are harassed, destabilised, misplaced from their positions, suspended and some are resigning. They are being aggressively driven out of the police or rendered useless by having their responsibilities taken away, or put into post where they cannot do meaningful work," she said.
Phiyega, however, refused to name the people she accused of harassment. She held a press conference in Sandton on Wednesday to address an announcement made by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's (IPID) acting head, Israel Kgamanye, that criminal cases had been opened against her and North West police commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo, for defeating the ends of justice.
Kgamanye, in a meeting with Parliament's police committee on Tuesday, said the cases related to allegations that Phiyega and Mbombo allegedly obstructed the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's investigation into the Marikana massacre.
Phiyega said fear and uncertainty had once again gripped police management. "This is bad and erodes SAPS of good skills, as well as the much-needed management capability," she told journalists.
Last year, News24 reported on the suspension of deputy police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nobubele Mbekela, and police spokesperson, Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale, both known supporters of Phiyega.
It was broadly understood that a group of top cops, including Mbekela and Makgale, were in the firing line due to statements released to the media in support of Phiyega.
In August 2015, the board of provincial police commissioners issued a statement supporting Phiyega a day after she submitted her response to President Jacob Zuma relating to the recommendation by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry that her fitness for office be investigated.
“I will not resign”
"I will not resign," Phiyega told journalists during the press briefing. "I have repeatedly said on the record that I seek no financial gain. Resignation is also not in my purview as I just want the opportunity to clear my name through due process, which I believe the schedule inquiry will provide," she said.
Phiyega was responding to the announcement by Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (IPID) acting head Isreal Kgamanye that criminal charges had been opened against her and North West police commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo for defeating the ends of justice. They allegedly obstructed the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's work into the Marikana massacre.
Phiyega, however, said she remained focused on the inquiry established by President Jacob Zuma into the allegations of misconduct and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently.
"These sideshows that continue to tarnish my name are meant to delay very crucial preparations for [the] looming inquiry into my fitness to hold office," she said.
Phiyega said the "sideshows" which abuse public funds attempting to run parallel with the apex presidential inquiry strengthened her resolve to face the courts. She said, under the circumstances, the courts were the only just and fair platform to which she could resort.
"... The abuse of public funds in an attempt to run parallel investigations ahead of the inquiry clearly seek to undermine any measure of truth the board of inquiry will unearth...," she said.
This article first appeared on News24 – see here.