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Phiyega in the spotlight again

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Questions are once again being raised about the relationship between newly-appointed Police Commisioner Riah Phiyega and at least two IT companies.

Dianne Kohler Barnard, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of police, has called on President Jacob Zuma to explain why a potential conflict of interest was not revealed.

“The 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,” Kohler Barnard says in a statement.

“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.”

The Star reports 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.

The DA is calling this a “clear conflict of interest which once again was not revealed in the CV submitted to the Portfolio Committee on Police”.

There have been previous questions about Phiyega’s relationship with XON, but both parties maintain there was no conflict of interest.

Kohler Barnard draws attention to information, also not on her CV, that Phiyega left her two previous positions – at Transnet and Absa – before the end of the employment contracts.

“The bona fides of the new commissioner are already being called into question,” she says.

“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,” Kohler Barnard states.