Pressure mounts on Phiyega following Marikana report

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National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. The structure of crime intelligence in the SA Police Service has been changed, Phiyega said.

JOHANNESBURG - Some analysts warn Riah Phiyega will battle to keep her job in the wake of the damning findings by the Marikana Inquiry.

The commission has found that an absence of command and poor preparation by the police led to the bloodshed in August 2012.

The national police commissioner has confirmed she has received notification of the pending inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

But there are suggestions she may leave office before it&39;s put into motion.

Some critics believe Phiyega was out of her depth when she was appointed national police commissioner -- with zero policing experience -- just two months before the violence in Marikana in August 2012.

And to some extent, the inquiry has proved that.

The report finds police management foresaw the possibility of serious injury and death -- but went ahead with the operation anyway.

It also finds that when they were questioned at the commission, senior police officials -- including Phiyega -- were economical with the truth.

“These two allegations that she’s not fit to exercise the powers of her position and that you can’t trust her because she’s not likely to be honest are so serious that she should be suspended until the outcome of an inquiry," said Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies.

Phiyega has until July 31 to respond to the recommendations and government has refused to comment until then.

“It doesn’t matter what I think," said Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko.

"Really what matters is what the law says. I think we are messing a number of things up in this country precisely because we use what we think and use emotions.”

 

Police Ministry Statement

But at least one analyst believes the call for an inquiry could be smokescreen.

“It is also a way of signalling to her to consider her options or even begin to negotiate her exit, if possible,” said Dr Somadoda Fikeni.