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Parliamentary report on senior SAPS conduct in limbo

The report relates to the conduct of senior SAPS officers who issued statements in support of Phiyega.

Suspended National Police Commissisoner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A damning parliamentary report recommending steps be taken against suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega and several top cops appears to be in limbo.

The police portfolio committee conducted an unprecedented probe into the conduct of senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officials last year after they issued controversial statements in support of Phiyega.

Members of Parliament (MPs) said the first statement, endorsed by the country's provincial commissioners, was timed to influence President Jacob Zuma's decision on the Farlam Commission of Inquiry's recommendations, following the 2012 Marikana shooting.

During the course of the parliamentary investigation, it emerged Phiyega had chastised provincial commissioners for their silence on the Farlam Commission's report, despite members of the Board of Commissioners denying that Phiyega had pressured them to issue a media statement supporting her.

In November, the committee recommended Phiyega face another board of inquiry for her role in the release of the statement.

The report also concluded that the country's provincial police commissioners had embarrassed the service by publicly declaring their support for Phiyega and recommended Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko consider appointing boards of inquiry into their conduct.

Phiyega sent a letter to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete complaining about how she had been treated after the report was adopted by the committee.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says Phiyega was given until 4 December to respond to the findings.

"Correspondence was sent to them. They then indicated that they will write directly to the speaker to deal with the matter."

However, the report never made it to the National Assembly for adoption last year apparently due an administrative glitch.

"The portfolio committee will again look at the various procedures involved and come up with a determination."

The status of the report is expected to be discussed in the committee this week.

Phiyega was suspended in October pending the outcome of an investigation into her fitness to hold office, as recommended by the Farlam Commission.

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