ISS: Phiyega should step aside

The ISS says Riah Phiyega should take time off while she is being investigated by the IPID.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says it would be in National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega's best interest and in the interest of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for her to step aside while she is being investigated.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) this week confirmed it was probing Phiyega for defeating the ends of justice.

It is alleged she tipped off Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer that he was being investigated by the Hawks for having links to a well-known drug dealer.

But she says Lamoer knew about it all along because he initiated the enquiry.

ISS researcher Johan Burger says Phiyega should voluntarily step aside or she should be suspended.

"Nobody is saying Riah Phiyega is necessarily guilty of what she's being accused of. This has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. It is about removing herself to allow the investigation to take its course."

Phiyega was appointed in June 2012.

But her term has been marred by controversy and questionable decision-making.

Burger says she lacks the experience needed to lead the SAPS.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for cool heads amid calls for her to be suspended.

Police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said, "These are old and tired arguments which are not worth responding to.

"It is a lot of noise under the guise of so-called scientific analysis.

"Our focus is and remains on preventing, combating and investigating crime as enshrined in our Constitution and other laws under which we function," added Makgale.