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'I'm humbled to be first female commissioner'

Police chief Riah Phiyega to pay special attention to crimes against women and children.

Newly appointed National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - Newly appointed National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Thursday committed to advancing the fight against crime.

She said she would pay particular focus to crimes against women and children.

Police Minister Nathi Mtethwa introduced the new general to the country at a briefing in Pretoria.

Phiyega said she is humbled to be the first woman commissioner in the history of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

She said she has a lot to offer the police and the country, with her wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors.

The new top cop expressed her readiness to tackle corruption, and would continue to implement the President Jacob Zuma's ten-point plan for the SAPS.

She met with her political bosses on Thursday and will meet with police management on Friday.

Phiyega has not even been shown her office yet.

She declined to respond to numerous questions, including those relating to the fate of officers implicated in the Judge Jake Moloi report. The report relates to her predecessor Bheki Cele's conduct in relation to building lease agreements worth R1.7 billion. Cele and other police managers were found to have acted improperly in concluding the deals with property mogul Roux Shabangu.

Phyiyega said she would address the media again after she has spent more time in her new position.

She takes over from Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi who was the interim commissioner after Cele was suspended earlier this year.