Inquiry into 'statements of support for Phiyega' to commence

Riah Phiyega was suspended pending the outcome of a separate inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

FILE: Suspended National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's portfolio committee on police will start an inquiry on Friday into the issuing of statements in support of suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

She was earlier this week suspended pending the outcome of a separate inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Earlier this year the South African Police Services (Saps) board of commissioners publicly supported Phiyega after the Marikana commission's report was released, a move which was strongly criticised.

Today the police's portfolio committee will look into reasons why certain top Saps members were issuing statements in support of Phiyega.

At the same time, Chairperson Francois Beukman says they've welcomed the suspension.

"We think it's the right step and that it will contribute to stability in the Saps leadership at this specific time."

The Institute for Security Studies' Gareth Newham says the board of inquiry now has to announce when it intends commencing with the investigation into Phiyega.

"It's quite a process. They still have a couple of months to get the board of inquiry ready to go."

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union says the president followed all the necessary steps to suspend Phiyega.