Mixed reaction over Phiyega’s departure

Lesetja Mothiba has taken over as acting police commissioner, but the Police Ministry says it hopes to appoint a permanent candidate by the end of the year.

FILE: Riah Phiyega. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA – South Africa’s police unions have both welcomed the end of Riah Phiyega’s term as national commissioner, and expressed disappointment that she is leaving the service.

Monday marks Phiyega’s last day as national commissioner.

She’s been on suspension since October 2015 following the Farlam commission of inquiry's adverse findings related to her conduct during the Marikina massacre.

The South African Policing Union’s Oscar Skommere says they're happy Phiyega’s term of office has officially ended.

“We have been waiting anxiously for her term to come to an end. With regard to how Phiyega managed the police, the union was not very happy.”

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union’s Richard Mamabolo believes Phiyega’s term of office was a missed opportunity for the organisation.

“We believe in the capacity and capability to ensure that we have a proper police service that works closer towards ensuring that the relationship between communities and the police is revived.”

While Lesetja Mothiba has taken over as acting commissioner, the police ministry says it hopes to appoint a permanent candidate by the end of the year.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)