Crime stats to be released to parliamentary committee

The police minister will not be releasing the crime stats via a press briefing this year.

The Parliament of South Africa. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko will break tradition this year by releasing the annual crime stats to a Parliamentary oversight committee instead of at a press briefing, as has been the case in the past.

It's a decision that's been welcomed by Members of Parliament (MPs).

For the past two years South Africa's murder rate has increased as have the number of murders.

Tomorrow, Nhleko will tell MPs whether this trend has continued.

Francois Beukman, chair of the committee, is pleased that MPs will be the first to hear.

"It was not a request from Parliament, but we welcome this."

Democratic Alliance MP Diana Kohler-Barnard says for years MPs have been sidelined.

"We're taking back our power. That is our legislated power."

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega's office said she'll be attending.

However, she's been given until today to convince President Jacob Zuma why she should not be suspended during an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Last week, the president announced the establishment of the board of inquiry that will assess Phiyega's ability to execute official duties.

The probe follows a recommendation by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which called for her role in the 2012 Marikana massacre to be investigated.