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Zuma launches inquiry into Phiyega's fitness for office

The Farlam Commission recommended that an inquiry be held into her role in the Marikana massacre.

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

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has now established a board of inquiry into allegations of misconduct against National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently.

Last month President Zuma wrote to Phiyega, asking her to provide reasons as to why she should not be suspended pending an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

This followed the release of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry findings which recommended that an inquiry be held into the role Phiyega, and North West Police Commissioner Zukiswa Mbombo, played around the 2012 shooting in Marikana that saw officers kill 34 miners.

Two months ago the Presidency confirmed the receipt of the police commissioner's letter.

Upon submission of the letter, Phiyega stressed in an earlier statement that she did not agree with all aspects of the Marikana report.

The Presidency's Bongani Majola says the country's top cop will face a panel of three, consisting of a judge and two advocates.

"The president has established the board of inquiry with the following members; Judge Cornelis Johannes Claasen will be chairperson of the board of inquiry and will be assisted by Advocate Bernard Sakhile Khuzwayo and Advocate Anusha Rawjee."

The board will determine whether Phiyega concealed evidence and whether the decision to implement a tactical option in Marikana could have foreseen the tragic consequences.

Majola says, "[The board will determine] whether the national commissioner, acting together with other leadership of the South African Police Service, or alone, misled the commission by concealing that it had made a decision to implement a tactical option taken at a National Management Forum meeting on 15 August 2012."

BLEMISHES ON PHIYEGA'S RECORD

A year ago, the police commissioner escaped charges for allegedly defeating the ends of justice into a criminal investigation.

In October last year Phiyega was accused of interfering in an ongoing intelligence investigation into Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer for his alleged corrupt relationship with a well-known Cape Town businessman.

Lamoer is also believed to have links to a Cape Town drug dealer.

Phiyega allegedly tipped Lamoer off that he was being investigated.

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