Popcru throws its weight behind Phiyega

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo says they believe Riah Phiyega is the right person for the job.

FILE: National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega addressed Popcru in Centurion, ! September 2012. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says while it respects President Jacob Zuma's decision to suspend Riah Phiyega, its members still support her and believe she has performed well in her mandate of leading the police.

The national police commissioner was suspended yesterday with immediate effect and on full pay pending the outcome of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

LISTEN: Zuma suspends Phiyega.

This follows a recommendation by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry into the violence and shooting in 2012.

The move has been welcomed by the Marikana miners, several organisations and political parties.

But Popcru's Richard Mamabolo says they believe Phiyega is the right person for the job.

"We continue to support the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and we will be observing the outcomes into the inquiry. We don't see the reason for her to be fired or suspended on those basis."

The union says the president followed the right procedures in terms of suspending her but it says she supplied sufficient evidence during the Marikana commission to explain the police's conduct.

Mamabolo says they believe she has also performed well in her position.

"It doesn't matter if the person is male or female as long as the job is done, it doesn't matter if it's a black or brown cat, as long as it's a cat."

The Institute for Security Studies says Zuma didn't have much of a choice in terms of suspending Phiyega.

Now the board of inquiry will have to announce when it intends to commence with hearings - which could take several months - before handing over its recommendations to the president about whether or not she's fit to hold office.