NATIONAL police commissioner General Riah Phiyega must be suspended pending the outcome of a probe into allegations that she defeated the ends of justice, the DA said yesterday.
“In order to ensure that the investigation is truly independent, Phiyega must be suspended as a course of action to allow the investigation to be conducted without any possibility of her interference,” DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said earlier yesterday it would investigate the allegations against Phiyega.
Phiyega is accused of tipping off Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer about investigations against him.
Kohler-Barnard said there were grounds for suspension, under the Labour Relations Act, if an employee was implicated in misconduct, if there was prima facie evidence of guilt, and if the employee could unfairly influence a probe.
Ipid said a docket of defeating the ends of justice had been referred to its Western Cape office.
“An investigator has been appointed and given an instruction to fasttrack the investigation.
“The investigator will contact all the relevant role-players in due course,” it said.
Phiyega welcomed the probe, said her spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale. “The national commissioner still maintain[s] that she committed no crime,” he said.
“General Phiyega would like to reassure members of the SA Police Service, as well as the people of South Africa, that she remains focused on her efforts to fight crime and ensure that all police units and officials conduct their tasks with the utmost integrity,” he said.
According to reports, Phiyega told Lamoer on three occasions that she was aware he was under investigation. The Sunday Independent reported that their telephone conversations had been legally recorded by crime intelligence operatives monitoring Lamoer’s calls.
He was allegedly associated with a Cape Town drug-dealer and wellknown businessman. — Sapa