Monday, October 27, 2014

Riah Phiyega to face police probe

National 26.10.2014

Riah Phiyega to face police probe
FILE PICTURE: National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Police commissioner Riah Phiyega is being investigated by a committee looking into problems in the police.

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The “reference group” was established by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and is expected, among others, to probe Phiyega for allegedly warning Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer that he was being investigated for his alleged links to drug lords.

According to the Sunday Independent, the committee’s terms of reference include looking at appointments, suspensions, and disciplinary and criminal proceedings involving senior police management.

Nhleko’s spokesman Musa Zondi said the committee’s six members, who he did not name, were not from the police, but “experts in their own fields”.

The committee would reportedly also look at the suspension of police crime intelligence unit head Richard Mdluli and claims that KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen was being targeted.

The claims against Phiyega came to light when crime intelligence operatives legally recorded Lamoer’s phone conversations, suspecting him of being involved with an alleged criminal.

Nhleko announced the establishment of the committee earlier this month, saying outstanding legal and disciplinary matters had to be resolved urgently.

- Sapa


The national police commissioner will not be prosecuted following accusations of her interfering in an on-going crime intelligence investigation.
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega. (Gallo)

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega will not be prosecuted for allegedly defeating the ends of justice following a decision reached by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) this week.

Phiyega, who was appointed by President Jacob Zuma in June 2012, was accused in October last year of interfering in an on-going crime intelligence investigation into Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and his possible links to so-called underworld characters.

Phiyega was alleged to have tipped Lamoer off that he was being investigated, more than three times – although she denied doing anything untoward.

The NPA released a statement on Saturday saying: “After an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) the executive director of IPID referred the docket to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP),Mxolisi Nxasana.

“The NDPP then referred the docket to the director public prosecutions, Western Cape, Advocate Rodney de Kock, to make a decision.

“Advocate de Kock has satisfied himself that the IPID investigation is complete. After duly considering the statements and evidence in the docket and in light of all the circumstances, the DPP has declined to prosecute. It is considered that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution.”

‘Initiated a conversation’
According to reports, crime intelligence had been monitoring Lamoer’s communications last year in order to establish his relationship with an alleged gangster. It was reportedly from these intercepts that investigators became aware that Phiyega had alerted Lamoer to the investigation.

Members of the Western Cape’s crime intelligence division opened a case of defeating the ends of justice against Phiyega in October last year. The allegations emerged three days after Phiyega placed then acting crime intelligence head Chris Ngcobo on special leave for allegedly lying about his qualifications.

AmaBhungane understands that the police’s top brass underwent a vetting process for security clearance by the State Security Agency during the course of last year. Discrepancies were discovered, Phiyega said last year, relating to Ncgobo’s academic qualifications. Shortly after he was suspended, Phiyega found herself embroiled in the Lamoer affair. She denied that she interfered in the case.

Last year Phiyega’s spokesperson, Solomon Makgale denied that Phiyega had “initiated a conversation” with Lamoer, regarding the allegations “but that the conversation arose as a result of a question by a [Democratic Alliance] member of Parliament. “The department is obliged to reply to such questions,” Makgale said.

Phiyega had become aware that there was an inquiry into Lamoer after the Hawks had briefed her about it on May 29 last year. “[Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Anwa] Dramat, at the time, indicated that the inquiry was initiated at the request of Lieutenant-General Lamoer in July 2012. In other words, Lieutenant General Lamoer has always been aware of the inquiry,” Makgale said.

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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See for our stories, activities and funding sources.

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