Police Committee Findings Against Police Management

11 November 2015

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes the report of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police on the conduct of the Board of Commissioners' (BOC) public statements which sought to unduly influence or undermine the process initiated by the President in line with the recommendation of the Farlam Commission in respect of the police National Commissioner General Riah Phiyega.

The BOC issued two media statement declaring public support for General Phiyega at the time when the President had begun a process informed by the Farlam Commission recommendations regarding the conduct of the police commissioner in relation to Markana.

Despite offering public apologies to the committee regarding their public declaration, the provincial police commissioners issued a subsequent statement essentially reinforcing their position. This was an open defiance of the committee's directive for the unconditional withdrawal of the original media statement and a contradiction of the apologies they had individually tendered to the committee.

The investigation of the committee into the conduct of the provincial commissioners found that they misrepresented facts regarding the nature and actual deliberations of the meeting of the BOC, where a decision to release the initial statement was taken. Despite the provincial commissioners and the minutes stating that national police commissioner was not present at that meeting, as that would have amounted to conflict of interest on her part, the transcript of the meeting shows that not only was she present but she actively encouraged that statements supporting her be made and issued to the public.

It is clear from both the statements of the provincial police commissioners publicly paying allegiance to the national commissioner that the intention was to unduly influence and pre-empt the process the President had begun regarding the national commissioner in line with the Farlam commission recommendations.

This undeniably embarrassed the executive authority of the police and members of police service as a whole. Their defiance of the committee directive and misleading of Parliament are serious offences that are not only unlawful but have severely compromised the trust relationship between Parliament and the SA Police Service (SAPS). The conduct of the police management is gravely disappointing.

The committee has recommended that the relevant executive authorities consider establishing a process towards taking appropriate action against all the police management responsible for such reckless conduct, whose implications are dire police service and the country.

The report would now be formally tabled before the National Assembly for consideration after it was unanimously adopted by all parties today.

Issued By The Office Of The ANC Chief Whip

Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930