Phiyega, why did you go, DA asks

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

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

Yesterday DA spokeswoman on police Dianne Kohler-Barnard wrote to the National Assembley’s police committee chairwoman, Annelize van Wyk, requesting that Phiyega be called to answer questions on her employment history.

Barnard said she would be asking ABSA CEO Maria Ramos why Phiyega left Transnet and ABSA before 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 she decided to leave,” Barnard said.

She said the DA had noted that Phiyega’s CV was abridged and did not include vital information about her employment history and a possible conflict of interest.

In the letter, 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.

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

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

She said Phiyega would make herself available if Van Wyk called her before the committee.

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

Efforts to contact Phiyega regarding her employment history proved futile.

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