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Published: 23 Jul 2012
|DA: Statement by Dianne Kohler Barnard, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Police, calling on President Jacob Zuma to explain why Phiyega’s conflict of interest was not revealed (23/07/2012)|
he revelation of a second major conflict of interest on the part of the new National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega raises serious questions as to how she could have been appointed.
I will today write to President Zuma informing him of the conflict of interest and requesting an explanation of how her appointment was decided on. I will also be querying whether she has the relevant security clearance.
A report in The Star today has revealed that General Phiyega quit her post as a director of Lefatshe Technologies and, only a few days later, headed up a corruption probe into the same company without declaring her links to the company. This is a clear conflict of interest which once again was not revealed in the CV submitted to the Portfolio Committee on Police.
Despite President Zuma singing her praises when announcing her appointment, there have now been numerous questions raised around her employment history and previous business interests.
General Phiyega has not declared a conflict of interest on two occasions that we know of – XON and now Lefatshe. Her excuse in the XON case was that she was no longer in the position when it became a conflict of interest. This time, she’s using the excuse that she was a ‘non-executive member’ and never had any shareholding.
All of this information was conveniently left out of the CV which was submitted to the Portfolio Committee, as was the information that she left before the end of her previous two employment contracts – at both Transnet and ABSA. Inevitably, we must now question whether or not Parliament was deliberately deceived in the appointment process.
This also raises the question as to whether or not the President applied his mind in making this appointment. The DA believes that in light of the fact that the two previous national police commissioners turned out to be disastrous appointments who tarnished the office of the national police commissioner, the President would have been most careful to scrutinise the CVs of all candidates. We are also moved to ask if in fact he considered and interviewed any other candidates at all? The President needed to appoint a new national police commissioner who could restore the public’s faith in this position. It now looks like he failed to do so. The bona fides of the new commissioner are already being called into question.
I have already written to request that General Phiyega be called before the Portfolio Committee on Police to explain how an abridged CV came to be presented to us and to explain her previous business dealings. Now President Zuma needs to explain how his office managed to miss these two conflicts of interest. Of course there is no guarantee that further revelations of conflict of interest will not be revealed.
General Phiyega has stepped into an office left bereft of any credibility by the actions of her predecessors. These revelations of her conflicts of interest do little to restore credibility to this position.