Mzwandile Tiyo has declined to discuss allegations that his team was involved in laying criminal charges against Riah Phiyega.
The acting head of the police’s crime intelligence division in the Western Cape, Mzwandile Tiyo, has declined to discuss allegations that his team was involved in laying criminal charges against national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.
Tiyo also refused to discuss claims that a police audit had found that the division’s officers were part owners of a farm near Paarl, which had allegedly been used for police operations paid for with state funds.
“I am very sorry, but I just can’t discuss investigations with you,” Tiyo said. “Neither can I comment on all these investigations.”
Tiyo is no stranger to controversy. He was formerly station commander at Paarl police station, about 60km from Cape Town, which was investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate over its alleged involvement in the manipulation of crime statistics.
More than 50 rape cases, some involving children as young as four, were allegedly not registered or investigated before 2009 because police allegedly followed orders from their bosses to reflect a lower incidence of serious crime in their area.
The directorate recommended that two senior police officers stationed at Paarl at the time should be prosecuted, but declined to reveal their names.
However, the Mail & Guardian had earlier reported on a confidential police report leaked to the newspaper that alleged that Captain Hildegard Mackier had been involved in the manipulation of crime statistics, while Tiyo was alleged to have instructed officers not to open rape cases, but to record them as inquiries.
The report was written by director Vincent Beaton in June 2009, shortly after he was appointed station commissioner in Paarl, and contained sworn statements by the police officers making the claims.
Asked to respond to the allegations, police told the M&G in 2009 that Mackier and Tiyo had “seemed eager to dispute the allegations”, but declined to comment.