We reported yesterday that the DA are “eating their hearts” in celebration after it was made known that the Independent Investigative Police Directorate (IPID) has decided to criminally charge the suspended National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, in line with her role in the Marikana tragedy.
Reacting to the criminal charge(s) about to come her way, Phiyega told media practitioners today that she’ll be doing all she can to clear herself from whatever allegation(s) coming her way as criminally charging her is “opportunistic”.
“I find yesterday’s announcement by acting head of IPID, Israel Kgamanye, that charges are to be brought against me very concerning and opportunistic,” she said. “I did not lie and I am not a criminal,” Phiyega cried.
Describing IPID’s decision to lay criminal charge(s) against her as an “undignified haste”, Phiyega hinted that certain people in the police ministry are striving to “harass”, “slander” and “vilify” her.
She said – “this deliberate and orchestrated character assassination is meant to destroy my credibility and reputation. But most profoundly it is aimed at diverting my attention from focus and preparation of the inquiry…”
Phiyega also indicated that her rights as a South African citizen was violated as she wasn’t informed by IPID that she’s being criminally charged but got to learn about in media reports. Nevertheless, she emphasized that she is a law-abiding citizen and will cooperate with the prosecution to come.
“Should the national director of public prosecutions decide to prefer charges against me as recommended by IPID, as a responsible law-abiding citizen, I will fully cooperate. I have full confidence that the country’s judicial system will afford me a fair trial,” Phiyega declared.
Meanwhile the DA is calling for the charges to be extended to key political figures who can as well be linked to the Marikana massacre. According to the DA, the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the then Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, Labor Minister Mildred Oliphant and Nathi Mthethwa who was the Police Minister then cannot be let off the hook.