The national police chief, Riah Phiyega, must be suspended and an investigation into her association with the Western Cape’s police commissioner, Lt.-gen. Arno Lamoer, who was taken into custody today and appeared in court on various criminal charges, must be re-opened again, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police says.
Dr. Groenewald says the arrest of Lamoer and three other senior Western Cape police officers on charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering, again raises questions about the obstruction of justice investigation against Phiyega which was stopped after she had informed Lamoer last year of the investigation into his activities.
The three senior commanders, who were arrested with Lamoer, are Brig. Darius van der Ross, Brig. Sharon Govender and her husband, Brig. Colin Govender. A Cape Town businessman, Salim Dawjee was also arrested.
According to Groenewald, Phiyega denied that she had warned Lamoer and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided not or prosecute her due to insufficient evidence.
“In the light of these serious charges against Lamoer this case and the role which Phiyega played in it should be exposed and the NPA owes it to the public to play open cards with the public about the investigation.
“According to statistics of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) which was published in the media this week, 33% of adults in South Africa are afraid of the Police and 66% thinks there is graft in the Police Service.
“When officers in the top management of the Police are arrested due to serious crime and the umpteenth national commissioner is also under suspicion, it is not surprising that the public has no faith in the Police,’ Dr. Groenewald said.
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