The office of the President has vehemently denied holding back the release of the report into suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office‚ pointing fingers at the board of inquiry for the delay.
His office said that advocate Liza Tsatsi of the secretariat of the Claassen Board of Inquiry had indicated to the Presidency on Sunday that the report was not ready as there were matters that needed to be finalised.
This despite the board issuing a media statement‚ signed by Judge Neels Claassen‚ dated November 16‚ saying that the report had been completed and that the “the said report will be handed over to (Zuma) on a date determined by (Zuma)”.
But Ngqulunga on Monday said they were waiting for the Board to indicate when they were ready so that Zuma could give them a date to submit the report. Claassen is assisted by advocates Bernard Khuzwayo and Anusha Rawjee. The Board was supposed to hand over the report to Zuma in August.
This comes amid weekend reports suggesting that the report found that Phiyega was unfit to hold office and should be sacked as the country’s top cop.
The commission was instituted by Zuma as recommended by the Marikana Commission‚ which probed the mowing down of 34 miners who were on strike for better wages at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana in August 2012.
Marikana Commission chairperson Judge Ian Farlam recommended that an inquiry probe whether Phiyega misled the Marikana Commission by concealing a decision to implement the “tactical option” taken at a meeting of police top brass held before the massacre.
Phiyega‚ who has been on suspension for almost a year‚ on full pay amounting to R1.6-million per annum‚ has previously voiced her frustration with the pace of the inquiry.
She had lamented that the Board was “…very efficient in reporting the start of the inquiry but is now quiet on the delays“.
The board concluded hearings on June 3.
Phiyega is challenging the findings of the Marikana Commission‚ from which the Claassen Board of Inquiry stems.
Repeated attempts to reach the tribunal’s secretariat‚ Advocate Liza Tsatsi‚ were unsuccessful and failed to respond to messages sent to her.