KZN police chief under fire over pro-Phiyega statement

The statement was released after the Marikana report, which recommended a probe into Phiyega.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner has come under fire in Parliament over a pro- Riah Phiyega joint statement issued by the country's provincial police commissioners.

The statement was released after the Marikana report which recommended a probe into Phiyega's fitness to hold office.

Eight other police commissioners had previously appeared before Parliament's police portfolio committee.

Members of the police portfolio committee have questioned the timing of the statement by police commissioners.

The letter, released to the media, supported the national police commissioner after the Farlam Commission of Inquiry in the 2012 Marikana shooting criticised her leadership on the day 34 miners were killed in a stand-off with police.

The commissioners have since been called to Parliament, where they claimed the letter was not meant to influence President Jacob Zuma's decision about whether or not to establish an inquiry into Phiyega's fitness to hold office.

An inquiry is underway to determine whether the suspended commissioner played any role in writing and releasing the letter.