Phiyega given more time to explain why she shouldn’t be suspended

The Presidency today revealed it’s established a board of inquiry into the national police commissioner.

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

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has been given more time by the Presidency to explain why she should not be suspended, pending the outcome of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

The Presidency released a statement this afternoon saying it has now established a board of inquiry into allegations of misconduct against Phiyega and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently.

It follows a recommendation by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry that she be investigated after hearing evidence from the police, the Marikana miners and other parties over 300 days.

Last month, President Jacob Zuma wrote to the national police commissioner asking her to provide reasons as to why she not be suspended for the duration of the inquiry.

Phiyega had asked for further clarity regarding the inquiry.

The Presidency has provided her with the terms of reference and given her additional time to respond.

"The president has, in addition, accorded the general a further opportunity to make representation as to why she should not be suspended pending the determination of her fitness to hold office."

Phiyega will face a panel of three; Judge Cornelis Claasen and two advocates.

Issues about whether she concealed evidence and the decision to implement a tactical option in Marikana will be investigated.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says the president's establishment of a board of inquiry into allegations against Phiyega brings certainty to a situation that has been unstable for some time now.

The institute's Johan Burger says it's likely that Phiyega will be suspended.

"She will have to be very convincing in her argument to sway him otherwise. Chances are, and I think that would be the correct position, that she is suspended; not pronouncing on her guilt or not, but simply because a board of inquiry needs to have freedom from any possible interference."