It’s for real! DA’s MP Kohler Barnard wasn’t kidding when she claimed she received an SMS at 8.41:PM last Thursday from our police commissioner Riah Phiyega asking her to eat out her heart. And almost everyone is quit pissed with the content of the message except the National police spokesperson Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale who issued a statement on Tuesday night saying; “If Ms Kohler-Barnard feels threatened by a statement of self-affirmation then it is unfortunate. The message was certainly not intended as a threat and it is difficult to see how it could be interpreted as such.”
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Makgale confirmed his boss, Riah Phiyega actually sent a text message to Kohler Barnard asking her to “Eat your heart out. I am not made by you and cannot be undone by you”. Makgale said “the SMS was indeed sent by General Phiyega and was not meant for public distribution by Ms Kohler Barnard.” He however blamed the DA’s MP for her “unprovoked and unbecoming personal attack” on the Police National Commissioner during a television interview on ANN7 last week Thursday which inspired his boss to send her the SMS.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary portfolio committee on police initially launched an investigation into the SMS where the Chairman of the committee Francois Beukman tasked Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba to confirm if the message that says; “I am black‚ proud and capable and get it clear you can take nothing from me. Eat your heart out. I am not made by you and cannot be undone by you.” was truly sent by General Phiyega.
As reported, both the ruling and opposition party members of the committee expressed shock over the SMS prior to this confirmation made by the National police spokesperson. While EFF’s Phillip Mhlongo reportedly said the message was tantamount to mutiny, and recommended that the Police Commissioner General Phiyega be suspended and stripped of her role. ANC MP Livhuhani Mabija asked “where does she get the audacity to do that?” with his colleague Leonard Ramatlakane saying; “I don’t want to believe it is the commissioner‚ but if it did happen‚ it compounds the problem and sends a particular message to 200000 police officers about us.”
Also, the parliamentary portfolio committee on police is inquiring and following up issues related to the statement released by the provincial commissioners in which they pledged their support for Phiyega. You’ll recall that the provincial commissioners and the National Police spokesperson Solomon Makgale‚ were all made to apologize and to withdraw their statement.
But then, Makgale issued another statement wherein the provincial commissioners regretted and apologized for the confusion surrounding their initial statement but obviously refused to retract their stance on the previous statement.
Moreover, now that it’s confirmed that Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega truly sent the ‘eat out your heart’ SMS, we await the decision of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police. And with the provincial commissioners rallying around General Phiyega we sincerely do hope South Africa isn’t about to experience a situation where the police will defy the state.