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Police chief denies criminal claims

EWN this morning revealed that Robert McBride called for Phiyega to be investigated.

FILE. National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA - Police have denied that National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega was involved in any corruption relating to high profile investigations in KwaZulu-Natal.

This morning, Eyewitness News revealed that suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride wrote a letter to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko calling for Phiyega to be investigated.

The letter raises the question of whether Phiyega interfered in investigations, allowing for the protection of certain individuals.

In detailed response, police spokesman Solomon Makgale said:

"The letter says because the national commissioner did not act - that is the allegation from McBride - therefore, she must be investigated. It does not mean that the national commissioner got involved in any corrupt activity.

In January, McBride sent the letter to the police minister, recommending that Phiyega be suspended to allow Ipid to investigate alleged misconduct as well as several criminal charges against her.

In the letter obtained by EWN , McBride accuses Phiyega of enabling a corrupt environment to thrive because of her failure to act against KwaZulu-Natal Commissioner Mamonye Ngobeni.

Ngobeni is allegedly involved in a corrupt relationship with politically-connected businessman Thoshan Panday.

He claims Phiyega not only interfered in high-profile cases involving senior police officers, but failed to act against them - despite there being strong evidence to support the allegations.

The cases involve corruption of more than R75 million, a bribery scandal of R2 million, as well as plans to murder police officers tasked with investigating these cases.

McBride says the police commissioner's conduct may amount to racketeering because instead of dealing with allegations of corruption, she rather associates herself with such behavior.

The Ipid head was suspended in March for allegedly altering a report into the rendition of five Zimbabwean suspects in 2010, a charge he has consistently denied.

He and two subordinates are accused of changing the report to exonerate senior Hawks officials, but he believes he is being targeted for leading sensitive investigations.

Click here to read McBride's letter to Nhleko.

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