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Johannesburg - The Independent Investigative Directorate (Ipid) must be given time to probe allegations against national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Wednesday.
“When the ministry of police took a decision to change the focus and mandate of the then Independent Complaints Directorate to become the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, we sought to establish and put in place mechanisms which would ensure that the rule of law is observed even by police themselves,” Mthethwa's office said in a statement.
“It is therefore important to allow Ipid an opportunity to do their work without undue interference because such a mandate, which is to police the police, is provided for in the Ipid Act.”
Once Ipid had finalised its investigation it would send a report to Mthethwa with recommendations.
Phiyega is accused of tipping off Western Cape police commissioner Lt-Gen Arno Lamoer about investigations against him.
According to reports, Phiyega told Lamoer on three occasions that she was aware he was under investigation.
The Sunday Independent reported that their telephone conversations had been legally recorded by crime intelligence operatives monitoring Lamoer's calls.
He was allegedly associated with a Cape Town drug-dealer and well-known businessman.
In the conversations, Phiyega reportedly made Lamoer aware of similar allegations by Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.
According to the report, the disclosures outraged crime intelligence operatives, who had threatened to lay criminal charges against Phiyega.
Phiyega has denied tipping-off Lamoer.
On Tuesday, Phiyega's spokesman Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said the commissioner welcomed the probe.
“The national commissioner still maintain(s) that she committed no crime,” he said.