Riah Phiyega's troubles piling up

A ministerial reference group has probed complaints and found Phiyega bungled internal processes.

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

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has released a damning report which has found suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega committed perjury and ignored internal processes when demoting, suspending and removing several senior officials.

Nhleko released the findings of his reference group this afternoon.

The findings have been made public on the same day that Members of Parliament (MPs) slated Phiyega for encouraging her provincial commissioners to voice their support for her before she was suspended.

The ministerial reference group has found Phiyega did not follow Saps and Labour Relations Act prescripts when she demoted two deputy national commissioners.

The report also found she committed a criminal act of perjury in relation to the Richard Mdluli saga.

Nhleko said, "The reference group finds that the national commissioner informed the court wrongly with regard to Lieutenant general [Nhlanhla] Mkhanazi with regards to the action in the Mdluli matter."

Nhleko says three separate teams will be tasked with implementing the recommendations of the reference group's report.

"We also need to understand the process flow because it's going to assist us here. The ministry of police has not taken a decision to conduct an inquiry or inquiries. What the minister of police is currently doing is to share the report with you to say 'these are the issues'."

It's also recommended she face disciplinary action for tipping off suspended Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer that he was being monitored by crime intelligence.

Phiyega was suspended in October pending the outcome of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office as recommended by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.

Her leadership has been strongly criticised by parliamentarians across the political spectrum.

Meanwhile, Phiyega's provincial commissioners are in hot water again.

MPs adopted a report today which says their conduct embarrassed the Saps.

The adoption of the report follows an unprecedented parliamentary inquiry into whether the Saps top brass misled MPs about the circumstances that led to the issuing of controversial statements of support for Phiyega.

The Police Portfolio Committee has found the two statements were aimed at influencing the process that was initiated by the president, after he received the Farlam Commission's report.

The committee wants the Police Ministry to consider appointing boards of inquiry into the conduct of the provincial commissioners who had declared their support for Phiyega.

MPs believe Phiyega's spokesperson, Solomon Makgale, tried to deliberately mislead them about the circumstances surrounding the issuing of the first controversial statement, and have recommended appropriate steps be taken against him for his conduct.

The next step is for the committee's report to go to the National Assembly for adoption.