SAPS commissioners must account to Parly for backing Phiyega

Provincial commissioners have been lambasted by parliamentarians for endorsing the minister.

FILE: National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Senior South African Police Services (SAPS) management is being summoned to Parliament to explain their public endorsement of national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, when there are questions around her fitness to hold office.

Phiyega had until last Friday to submit her reasons to the president as to why she should not face an inquiry, as recommended in the Marikana report.

But her spokesperson Solomon Makgale has since issued a statement saying the board of commissioners of the SAPS was fully behind her.

Members of Parliament (MPs) say this move was an inappropriate attempt to influence an official process being followed in the wake of the Farlam commission's findings.

The provincial commissioners have been hauled over the coals by parliamentarians for publicly endorsing her.

The police portfoliocommittee's chairperson Francois Beukman said, "We don't believe it's proper for serving members of the police management to come with statements of support that may be construed as influencing the process. That's improper."

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard also weighed in.

"I absolutely and wholeheartedly welcome the hauling in of those provincial commissioners who signed that document."

The committee wants to hear from the officials involved next week Wednesday.