Zuma to decide on Phiyega's suspension

The ISS & Sapu say Phiyega should be suspended while the inquiry does its work.

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

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma looks set to decide on whether or not to suspend National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega based on several issues, including her response.

Last week Zuma established a board of inquiry into whether Phiyega withheld evidence, and whether the decision to implement a tactical option on Marikana ought to have foreseen the tragic consequences.

Phiyega was given until yesterday to explain why she shouldn't be suspended pending the outcome of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

It follows a recommendation by the Farlam Commission of Inquiry for an investigation after hearing evidence from the police, the Marikana miners and other parties over about 300 days.

Judge Knowles Classen and two advocates have been appointed, but it's unclear when the inquiry will begin.

The presidency allowed Phiyega more time to explain why she shouldn't be suspended, following her request for more clarity into the inquiry.

The Institute for Security Studies has indicated that she should be suspended, the decision that now lies with Zuma to apply his mind before the decision is made public.

Meanwhile, the South African Policing Union (Sapu) has called on Phiyega to step down while welcoming the establishment of the inquiry.

The commission has called for Phiyega's involvement in the 2012 Marikana massacre to be probed.

Sapu's Oscar Skommere said the negative publicity around Phiyega is affecting the morale of officers.

"Phiyega must resign or go on leave whilst this commission is doing its work. There is no way she can be present while the commission is busy evaluating her."

Sapu claims Phiyega has shown a disregard for the police service and has called on her to step down.