Reports: Zuma wanted Phiyega to step down

Reports say Zuma gave Phiyega a choice between a diplomatic post or redeployment but she refused both options.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma.  Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The City Press is reporting that President Jacob Zuma summoned National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega where he made her an offer to step down and be redeployed to another government department.

The report says Zuma gave Phiyega a choice between a diplomatic post or redeployment but the top cop refused both options last November.

The paper also says it contacted both the presidency and the commissioner's office but neither wanted to comment.

"President Zuma has not had a discussion at any time with General Phiyega with regards to removing her from her position or to deploy her in any other position," it said.

According to reports the president made the offer because he was keen on getting rid of Phiyega before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's report.

The report was probing the August 2012 killing of 34 Lonmin mineworkers.

Zuma appointed the inquiry to investigate whether police were justified in using lethal force when the protesting miners were gunned down.

The move was allegedly to save her from embarrassment if the commission found that police under her watch are to be blamed for the violence.

But the police commissioner told the president that he would have to fire her if he wanted her out.

One of the offers was to be redeployed to the Public Works Department to fill the position of director general.

The report into the deaths in Marikana has not been released to the public since being handed over to Zuma earlier this year.