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DA details reasons why Phiyega should step down

The Democratic Alliance, in a letter to the president, cited increase in crime rate as one of the reasons.

FILE: National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it's written to President Jacob Zuma spelling out why National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is unfit for her position.

Phiyega's career is on the line in the wake of the findings of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shootings but the DA says her tenure has also been mired in controversy since the start.

The party's shadow minister of police, Dianne Kohler Barnard says Zuma should dishonourably discharge Phiyega for her inability to halt the rapid decline of the police service.

"Over and above Riah Phiyega's conduct on that fateful day, the current commissioner has a nothing short of abysmal record as national police commissioner, because she has time and time again demonstrated her complete inability to arrest the decline of our South African Police Services [Saps]."

The DA's cited soaring irregular expenditure, an increase in the crime rate and Phiyega's failure to deal with convicted criminals within the ranks of the Saps, among other issues.

"Her tenure at the helm of the police service has been mired in controversy that most likely stems from her incompetence as police chief, to the detriment of the citizens whose everyday safety needs to rely on a properly managed, trained and resourced Saps."

SUPPORT FOR PHIYEGA

On Monday, a board representing the nine provincial police commissioners said the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) improved under the leadership of the Phiyega.

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

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

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

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

"When the National Commissioner joined 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."

Makgale 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.

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