Riah Phiyega is an embarrassment to the police and should give the medals back

Dr Pieter Groenewald

The awarding of various medals to the national police commissioner of the South African Police Service, Gen. Riah Phiyega, is not only an embarrassment for the police, but also an embarrassment for the whole of South Africa, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on police says.

The medals include the police’s golden medal for outstanding service, the ten-year commemoration medal for members who have done service in the first ten years of democracy between 1995 and 2005, the amalgamation medal and the Fifa World Cup 2010 support medal.

Dr. Groenewald said as a respected member of Interpol, the issue is creating the impression that South Africa does not award medals based on merit, but that it is obtained due to political connections.

“Phiyega is a political appointment and was, prior to her appointment, never in the police service. A medal for ten year’s service is an outstanding medal which is awarded for outstanding service. Ordinary members of the police are very proud of it as it is recognition of their hard work.

“The awarding of this medal to Phiyega who was only appointed in 2012 infringes on the dignity of the medal and makes it cheap. It infringes on the pride of her hard-working colleagues who had been awarded this medal and who had earned it.

“Phiyega should give the medals back if she attaches any value to the loyal and outstanding service of members of the Police,” Dr. Groenewald said.


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