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Phiyega believes she's judged too harshly

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega says she is a victim of criticism because of her gender.

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega says she is a victim of criticism because of her gender. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Sunday said she believed the harsh criticism she faced is because she is a woman.

The comments come as police brutality, the Marikana shooting and police incompetence remain in the spotlight this week.

In an interview with the_ Sunday Times_, Phiyega said she had become a bigger target than her predecessors due to her gender.

The commissioner told the Sunday newspaper that her male predecessors had never received such "harrowing criticism".

She also defended her skills as a police commissioner.

Phiyega said her lack of experience within the police force should not be an issue because she has the skills to manage her organisation.

She said her credentials and experience should be proof that she can handle the running of the South African Police Service.

The commissioner also added that her office had acted immediately in pursuing those responsible in all of the recent incidents of police brutality.

View Riah Phiyega's testimony at the Marikana Inquiry here