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MPs warn top cops to stay out of politics

MPs slammed police management for publicly supporting Riah Phiyega over her fitness to hold office.

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

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee on Wednesday warned South African Police Service (Saps) management to focus on fighting crime and stay out of politics.

The committee hauled the police's senior management over the coals for publicly supporting National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega while there are questions about her fitness to hold office.

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

Committee Chairperson Francois Beukman says the provincial commissioners who endorsed Phiyega must explain themselves to Parliament next week.

"There's a specific code of conduct for Saps members. We believe they must play their role. They must fight crime. That is their core business. End of story."

Meanwhile, Deputy Police Commissioner Nobulele Mbekela believes Phiyega is being targeted being she's a woman.

Earlier this week, she maintained they were behind Phiyega despite the findings of the Marikana Report.

She also said Phiyega has done a lot for the service since taking over in June 2012.