Phiyega: My SMS to Kohler-Barnard was not threatening

Phiyega sent the SMS after Kohler-Barnard allegedly launched a personal attack on her during a TV interview.

South African National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said a text message she sent to the Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Diane Kohler-Barnard was not meant for public distribution and was not intended to be threatening.

Kohler-Barnard on Tuesday revealed the text message, saying she believed it had been sent by Phiyega and the source was being investigated.

Phiyega has acknowledged sending the message in response to a TV interview Kohler-Barnard did last week.

The message read: "I am black, proud, capable and get it clear you can take nothing from me, eat your heart out. I am not made by you and cannot be undone by you."

Phiyega's office said it was also not intended to be threatening and if Kohler-Barnard feels threatened by a statement of self-affirmation, then it's unfortunate.

The commissioner's spokesperson also said that it's equally unfortunate that Kohler-Barnard launched an unprovoked and unbecoming personal attack on Phiyega during a television interview.

The DA MP said all the members of Parliament Police Portfolio Committee were shocked to read the text message and the committee is now investigating.

Phiyega's office said it is rather surprising that Kohler-Barnard alleges she no longer knows the National Commissioner's cellphone number, as she has previously received communication from her.

However, Kohler-Barnard said she was obligated to make the message public.