Phiyega labels minister's report as 'malicious, vindictive'

Riah Phiyega called the police minister's damning findings against her as unlawful and unethical.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says she will be seeking legal advice against two reports finding her guilty of perjury and flouting South African Police Service (Saps) processes, calling them defamatory.

The reports were made public by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Wednesday after a ministerial reference group found Phiyega had committed perjury in the Richard Mdluli saga, along with fraud.

Nhleko established a ministerial reference group last year to probe a series of serious allegations levelled against the commissioner by senior police officials who had either been demoted, suspended or removed.

Phiyega says she was never engaged in any of the investigations called into question.

She's hit back at the police minister's damning findings against her, calling the report unlawful and unethical.

"How do you say I am guilty when you have never even sat with me, asked me, asked for documents or questioned me? It can't be."

The suspended commissioner says even criminals are given an opportunity to share their side of the story.

"I have never met those reference group people. I don't know who they are. And despite requesting to be clarified or approached, those things didn't happen."

Phiyega was suspended last month, pending the outcome of an inquiry into her fitness to hold office following the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's findings against her.


Phiyega says it's clear the two reports serve only as a malicious, vindictive attempts to create a distraction ahead of an inquiry into her fitness for office.

She says it's a suspicious coincidence that these findings were made while she's facing an inquiry.

"It's inquiry upon inquiry. How do you lead this other than just putting a lot of suspicion and caution and malice and vindictiveness around it?"

The commissioner says the allegations are false and she will prove this.

"There are very clear documents with records that can back-up each one of those."

She says the platform and process used by the parties involved is similar to that of a kangaroo court.