Phiyega told to ‘seriously reflect’ on controversial SMS

MPs across the political divide were shocked and angry when they heard about the SMS on Tuesday.

FILE: National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has been told to "seriously reflect" on the controversial text message she sent to Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Dianne Kohler Barnard.

This was the final word on the issue from the Chairperson of Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee after Phiyega's appearance in Parliament on Wednesday.

Phiyega and senior South African Police Services officials briefed the committee today on their crime combating operations.

MPs across the political divide were shocked and angry when they heard about the SMS on Tuesday, but it appears they've had a change of heart and Phiyega did not have to explain herself to Parliament.

Committee Chairperson Francois Beukman acknowledged the issue with a brief comment at the end of Wednesday's meeting.

"We indicated yesterday our views as political parties... there was a statement and an acknowledgement. But I think we just need, on that issue, serious reflection by the accounting officer and I'm just going to leave it there."

The SMS 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 sent the text message in response to a television interview Barnard did last week.

In a statement issued last night, she owned up to sending the message, which she said was not meant for public distribution or intended to be threatening.

Meanwhile, the committee let slide Phiyega's SMS to Barnard.