Police must ‘remove rotten potatoes’ – Phiyega
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has called for zero-tolerance against corrupt police officers.
She told the Police Prisons Civil Rights Union’s (Popcru) central executive committee meeting in Tshwane that crime and corruption robbed the policing profession of the stature it should have in society.
She said it was the duty of police officers to remove “rotten potatoes” from their midst.
“I do not necessarily subscribe to the unilateral, narrow-minded and negative view by some that we read about and that we hear. However, we should make sure all the good work and achievements of SAPS are not clouded by the element of corruption and criminality.
“Our business is to deal with criminals.Whether the criminals are within us or outside … we deal with them,” she said.
She said the negative publicity that resulted impacted negatively on the country, and said corruption within law-enforcement agencies deprived society of freedom.
“I call upon us to declare war against any form of corruption and criminality.
I lobby for you corruption in this war. We need to adopt a zero tolerance approach to any employee of SAPS that is found guilty of corruption or any form of criminality because this is our core business.
“Those found guilty should not receive any sanction short of dismissal,” she said. Phiyega said integrity should start at the top and filter down to the bottom.
Phiyega further said the killing of on-duty policemen deprived the SAPS of the skills it needs to create a safe and secure society, saying it also left families without breadwinners.
She said a concerted effort was necessary to do away with the scourge of police killings.
She avoided talking about the recent shootings in Marikana, and the investigation of the SA Human Rights Commission into her conduct in relation to the shooting of striking Marikana workers.
However, SAPS head of employee relations, Major-General Kaine Monyepao, said the police welcomed the HRC investigation into the Marikana shootings.
Asked about calls for the police to be charged for the death of the 34 workers, Monyepao said: “At this particular point we are not prepared to comment. We want to allow the law to unfold and allow all the parties to investigate. We will act once the outcome is made,” he said.
He also refused to comment on allegations that workers were run over with inyalas and were shot at close range, saying the matter was “sub judice”.