JOHANNESBURG (HAN) November 11, 2015. Public Diplomacy & regional Security. Suspended South African police commissioner-general Riah Phiyega has been found guilty of fraud by an internal police commission, further eroding her chances to retain her top post. President Jacob Zuma suspended Phiyega last month following recommendations by a commission that investigated the 2012 police killing of mine workers during a protest at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.
The latest action against the police boss was taken after an internal commission set up by the police minister found her guilty of fraud by firing senior managers, demoting others, misconduct and perjury. Police minister Nathi Nhleko told a parliamentary briefing that the disciplinary measures against Phiyega “should not be confused with the work of the board of inquiry currently looking into her fitness to hold office as they were separate matters”.
Phiyega has been accused of perjury, fraud, misconduct and wasteful expenditure by the reference group, which was formed in September last year to look at some of the issues raised by her juniors. Phiyega was also found to have committed a criminal act of perjury and misconduct after she lodged false affidavits in court regarding a police official, the controversial Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli.
Phiyega is still on suspension with full pay until the board of inquiry into her fitness to hold office has completed its work.
“The suspension is to endure pending any decision that is made following upon the recommendations of the board of inquiry into allegations of misconduct, her fitness to hold office and her capacity to execute official duties efficiently” said t Zuma’s spokesperson, Bongani Majola.
In August, Zuma announced his intention to institute the inquiry into Phiyega’s fitness to hold office. The president had written to her asking her to provide reasons why he should not suspend her pending the inquiry. Phiyega then requested more time to respond and Zuma gave her until the end of September and she had met that deadline.
The Marikana massacre, where 47 miners were killed by police, has been described as the worst case of brutality by law enforcement agents since the end of apartheid.