Police union welcomes Phiyega inquiry

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PRETORIA - The South African Policing Union (SAPU) on Wednesday said it welcomed the announcement by President Jacob Zuma that a board of inquiry would look into the fitness of national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to hold office.

SAPU General Secretary Oscar Skommere said: “This development is long overdue. It was clear from day one that her appointment was a terrible mistake that has cost our country dearly”.

Skommere said the establishment of the board of inquiry was the “beginning of the end for General Phiyega”.

On Tuesday, Zuma announced that he had appointed a board of inquiry as recommended by retired Judge Ian Farlam in his Marikana report to look into Phiyega’s fitness to hold office.

The inquiry into allegations of misconduct by the national police commissioner will be led by Judge Cornelis Johannes Claassen. No date has been set yet for the beginning of the inquiry.

The president said Phiyega had until Monday to give reasons why she should not be suspended pending the outcome of he inquiry.

“We are on record as advising her to save herself the embarrassment and the country the cost of this inquiry by just falling on her sword and resign,” said Skommere.

“There is no way that she will come alive from this initiative. The political support she gets from some labour organisations will count to nothing at the end of the day”.

Skommere said the “negative publicity” Phiyega generates has an impact on the morale of members.

“Members feel command and control collapsed in the SAPS from the day she came. SAPU commends president Zuma for being resolute in this matter,” he said.

He said Phiyega “must do the honourable thing and go for good”.