Corrupt cops on our radar - Phiyega
"I will share with you in about three months how we have dealt with corruption" - new police commissioner
YOU do not need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store.
This is the philosophical take of new national police commissioner General Mangwashi Phiyega on the widely circulated criticism of her lack of policing experience.
Phiyega said South Africans should judge her on her work in 12 months' time. She said she would be spending the next three to four months familiarising herself with the ins and outs of the police service, and only then will she be able to give details of her strategies to combat crime.
She said corruption was a general problem in the country and not just the police.
"What I appreciate is that it (corruption within the police service) is on our radar. I will share with you in about three months how we have dealt with and (are) dealing with corruption. Allow us to take some 'Phuza Mandla' (a nutrition and energy formula) and some energy drink," Phiyega said.
She said she was politically appointed and that there was no problem with politicians being involved in her work.
"We have to make a distinction. Are we confused with political involvement or political interference. We must debate this."
She said though she might not have the tools, weapons and skills that career officers had, she had however brought with her a lot of experience.
"I bring a positive not a negative. I believe that I have something to bring (to the force)."
Coming to her defence, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said even when General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, a very experienced career officer, was appointed there were detractors who said he was not good enough for the job.
Phiyega refused to answer operational questions or questions about the public spats between senior officers, saying she had not even stepped into her new office and some of the matters were before the courts.
"I hardly have 48 hours since the president announced my appointment," Phiyega said.
She said she would take former commissioner Bheki Cele's advice and partner with the "foot soldiers" and work on improving their morals and rebuilding public confidence in the police.
"We will build on the momentum created by the previous leadership. I am taking on a heavy baton, but we will run with it," she said.
Phiyega said she would instil an ethos of ISE (Integrity, Service to others before self and Excellence).
She would not pronounce on Mkhwanazi's future, saying she did not even know where his office was . - firstname.lastname@example.org