Board of top cops backs Phiyega

The board issued a statement in which it says Phiyega had turned the police service around.

South African National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A board representing the nine provincial police commissioners said the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) has improved under the leadership of the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

The board issued a statement yesterday backing Phiyega, saying she had turned the police service around by bolstering crime intelligence.

However, there have been calls for her to step down from a number of quarters, with the presidency now studying her response to the Marikana report.

The board of commissioners said the CIU has helped stamp out corruption within the police service.

The board of commissioners has denied allegations that police members are breaking ranks against Phiyega, saying she has the full support from the service.

The police's Solomon Mokgale said the evidence is in the number of officers arrested for corruption and illegal activities.

"When the National Commissioner joined the South Africa Police Services (Saps), Crime Intelligence was on its knees, there were scandals after scandals in the media."

He said Phiyega inherited an imploding CIU after former police commissioner Bheki Cele was fired.

"We've seen very good results. We can say with absolute confidence that the CIU is now out of the ICU."

Mokgale said claims of a messy state of affairs at Saps are unfounded.

"They deny categorically that they are unhappy with the national police commissioner."

He said at no point has any of the police management structures taken a resolution not to support the submission made at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.

Police analysts, opposition parties and unions have called for her to step down while President Jacob Zuma has yet to decide if any recourse will be taken against her.

Phiyega submitted her response to the commission's recommendations late Friday night, explaining why an inquiry into her fitness to hold office should not go ahead.

But Mokgale said all bad press relating to policing cannot be reduced to one person as various units in the police service have been turned around through Phiyega's leadership.

The police also announced at the weekend that former CIU head Chris Ngcobo had resigned after it was revealed there were discrepancies with his matric qualification.

The South African Police Union (Sapu) said the resignation of Ngcobo is part of the ongoing exodus of strong leaders in the police service.

He is the latest high profile head to resign over qualifications after Prasa's Daniel Mtimkulu left the rail agency this week.

He had failed to produce proof of his higher education qualifications.

Sapu said the police force is purging skilled members for qualifications that were previously unnecessary.