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Johannesburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega believes she is the target of criticism because she is a woman, the Sunday Times reports.
“Why, when Phiyega comes it becomes a huge debate? The president can appoint a man or a woman to control and manage the organisation and I had the requisite skills,” she was quoted as saying.
“Are we having a veiled gender debate? What is the discomfort? You can feel that there is a sense of discomfort but what is it... I'm trying to unmask the discomfort.”
Phiyega said her predecessors, Bheki Cele and Jackie Selebi, had never received the same harrowing attention during their tenure.
“In the 100 years of the history of the police they introduce a woman. Is that a challenge? I don't know, I don't have the answer.”
Phiyega came under the spotlight in recent months after several cases of police brutality.
In Marikana, North West, 34 striking miners were shot dead by police on August 16 last year.
Phiyega testified before the Farlam Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating the shooting, on Thursday.
She would appear before it again this week.
On February 26, Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia was dragged behind a police van in Daveyton and later died in police cells.
A video of the incident was posted on the internet.
Nine officers allegedly involved in the dragging and his death are facing charges in court.
This week, a North West policeman was arrested for allegedly dragging a court interpreter with his van in Setlopo village. - Sapa