PHIYEGA TO feel Ipid’s

CityPress - - News - ANDISIWE MAK­I­NANA andisiwe.mak­i­nana@city­press.co.za

Ten months af­ter Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko was in­structed to in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Riah Phiyega, his of­fice is stay­ing mum on why such ac­tion has not been taken.

The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate (Ipid) and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA), which in­ves­ti­gated Phiyega for de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice, both rec­om­mended Nh­leko in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against the com­mis­sioner.

Nh­leko’s spokesper­son, Musa Zondi, told City Press there was an omis­sion in the SAPS Act in terms of what the po­lice min­is­ter could or could not do, be­cause the na­tional com­mis­sioner was ap­pointed by the pres­i­dent.

“When the min­is­ter learnt of the rec­om­men­da­tion, he re­quested a le­gal opin­ion and for­warded same to the pres­i­dency. The SAPS Act is not clear on this, hence the opin­ion was sent to the pres­i­dency,” said Zondi.

At the time of pub­lish­ing, pres­i­dency spokesper­son Harold Maloka had not re­sponded to ques­tions about what Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has done in this re­gard.

City Press has seen the NPA’s record of the de­ci­sion, which the DA re­ceived this week through the Pro­mo­tion of Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act.

Ipid told DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard the mat­ter had been re­ferred to Nh­leko to con­sider dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Phiyega in terms of its rec­om­men­da­tions and those of the NPA.

Ipid did not give Kohler Barnard its own find­ings, say­ing its re­port con­tained ev­i­dence that may be used dur­ing Phiyega’s hear­ing.

How­ever, it gave the DA MP the NPA’s re­port, which deals with the rec­om­men­da­tions of both en­ti­ties.

Phiyega alerted Western Cape po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Arno Lamoer in a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion that he was the sub­ject of a Hawks crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and po­lice were mon­i­tor­ing his phone.

The al­le­ga­tion is that this ad­versely af­fected the Hawks in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The NPA re­port re­veals that, in her warn­ing state­ment, Phiyega de­nied she in­tended to de­feat the ends of jus­tice and she was merely re­spond­ing to Lamoer’s en­quiry about a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion.

Ipid con­cluded that Phiyega had not in­tended to frus­trate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion against Lamoer, and rec­om­mended she not be pros­e­cuted, be­cause there was no prima fa­cie case.

But in its record of de­ci­sion, the NPA found there could be no doubt Phiyega was obliged to re­tain the con­fi­den­tial­ity of the in­ter­cepted in­for­ma­tion.

The NPA found the dis­clo­sure was a dere­lic­tion of Phiyega’s duty to re­spect the con­fi­dence of the mon­i­tors, in­ves­ti­ga­tors and pro­vin­cial and na­tional heads of the di­rec­torate for pri­or­ity crime in­ves­ti­ga­tion were en­ti­tled to ex­pect of her.

“Phiyega of­fers no ex­pla­na­tion what­so­ever in her state­ment for in­form­ing Lamoer that she was shown or given a tele­phone record­ing of Lamoer’s dis­cus­sions,” reads the NPA re­port.

It states that, given the grav­ity of re­veal­ing such leg­isla­tively con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion, the fail­ure to ex­plain needed to count against her.

Like Ipid, the NPA con­cluded that a lack of in­ten­tion to de­feat the ends of jus­tice meant that crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion would there­fore not rea­son­ably suc­ceed.

The NPA found: “Although fail­ure to prop­erly per­form po­lice du­ties is not crim­i­nal, the dere­lic­tion of duty on the part of the na­tional com­mis­sioner of po­lice is suf­fi­ciently well founded on the ev­i­dence, and se­ri­ous enough to merit rec­om­mend­ing de­part­men­tal dis­ci­plinary steps.”

Kohler Barnard said it was “scan­dalous” that al­most 10 months had elapsed and an in­quiry had not been in­sti­tuted.

“Ms Phiyega is clearly not fit for of­fice and should have been fired years ago,” she said.

Kohler Barnard said the DA had al­ways con­tended it would be bizarre if Lamoer were pros­e­cuted but not Phiyega, be­cause de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice was usu­ally done in tan­dem.

“Nonethe­less, that is ex­actly what has hap­pened. This, cou­pled with the laun­dry list of fail­ings of the SAPS un­der her watch, should see her dis­charged once and for all. Never mind an in­quiry into her fit­ness for of­fice, be­cause her track record is ev­i­dence enough of her un­suit­abil­ity to be South Africa’s top cop,” she said.

Phiyega’s spokesper­son, Solly Mak­gale, re­ferred ques­tions to Nh­leko.

Na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner

Gen­eral Riah Phiyega

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