Phiyega urged to explain links with IT company

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SOLLY MAPHUMULO

[email protected]

THE DA wants new police chief General Riah Phiyega to explain why left she previous jobs before her contract ended and also her link to a company supplying the SAPS with IT equipment.

Phiyega was a director and shareholder in Kapela Capital, which owns a 40 percent stake in XON, which has IT contracts with the SAPS.

Yesterday, DA spokeswoman on police Dianne Kohler-Barnard formally wrote to the chairwoman of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Annelize van Wyk, requesting that Phiyega be called to answer questions surrounding her employment history.

Barnard said she would be asking Absa CEO Maria Ramos why Phiyega left Transnet and Absa before both her contracts ended.

“If she (Ramos) refuses to disclose that, she would be doing the country a huge disservice. I want to know if General Phiyega was asked to leave or if she decided to leave,” Kohler-Barnard said.

She said the DA had noted that Phiyega’s CV was abridged and did not include some vital information with regards to her employment history and possible conflict of interest with regards to IT company XON.

In the letter, Kohler-Barnard also questioned why Phiyega “stayed at a portfolio meeting discussing the issue of irregular IT payments from the SAPS without recusing herself”.

The Sunday Times recently reported that Phiyega would call in the Hawks to probe a R1.6 billion contract awarded by the SAPS.

The three-year IT contract for a property control exit management system was awarded to Unisys Africa and it emerged that the contract excluded the cost of hardware, consumables and the processing of exhibits, which would cost an extra R800 million.

“She should have immediately recused herself. There is definitely conflict of interest,” Kohler-Barnard said.

However, Xon CEO Carel Coetzee said “there can be no conflict of interests” because Phiyega had resigned from Kapela with effective from June 12 and asked Kapela to sell her shares.

National police spokeswoman Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha said Phiyega had resigned from the company before she accepted the job as police commissioner. Mbatha said there was no need for Phiyega to declare any interests as she had already resigned.

She said Phiyega would make herself available if Van Wyk called her before the committee as she had done nothing wrong.

Mbatha said she did not have details about why Phiyega left Transnet and Absa before end of her contracts because “this was her life before joining SAPS”.

Efforts to get a comment from Phiyega proved fruitless.


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