CT NGOs call for Phiyega's head

The organisations say they're appalled by Phiyega's response to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Two Cape Town based NGOs have called for National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega to resign or be fired.

The Social Justice Coalition and Ndifuna Ukwazi hosted a media briefing outside Parliament earlier today.

The organisations say they're appalled by Phiyega's response to recommendations made by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry a year ago.

Ndifuna Ukwazi's Zackie Achmat says the national police commissioner should be let go.

"For Marikana, and for her response to this report, but more so because she's failing in her duties to protect police."

The SJC's Axolile Notywala echoes Achmat's sentiments.

"We want her to resign or to be dismissed."

Premier Helen Zille has also criticised Phiyega's response, saying the police commissioner has either denied, disputed or redirected the commission's recommendations.

Meanwhile, the country's provincial police commissioners have been forced to withdraw a controversial statement in which they pledged support for Phiyega.

The commissioners were summoned to Parliament today to explain why they chose to publicly endorse her while she faces a possible inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Members of Parliament wanted to know who instructed the police's head of communications to issue the statement and whether Phiyega signed off on the document after the police board of commissioners met last month.

The commissioners claim the statement was issued to clarify perceptions in the media about instability, disunity and a mutiny in the South African Police Service.

Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Francois Beukman, said they were wrong.

"You don't see other government departments where there are processes regarding the DG where the DG is suspended and you have the chief directors issuing statements to the board that is what you expect at university campuses or schools."