18 May 2017
The DA has requested the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate the abuse of a SAPS helicopter by the Northern Cape Provincial Police Commissioner, Risimati Shivuri. This comes after Shivuri was taxied about by a police chopper at last week’s ANC Provincial Elective Conference in Colesberg, in the Northern Cape.
According to reports by eyewitnesses at the conference, Shivuri abused the services of the SAPS helicopter on at least two occasions. This is in spite of the fact that Shivuri had a vehicle and a driver available to him at all times at the conference.
Shivuri apparently sent the SAPS helicopter from the Colesberg stadium to the Gariep Dam, which is approximately 30 kilometers away, to fetch his jacket. It is estimated that the cost of this trip is in the region of R6 000.
Shivuri was also seen making use of the helicopter to ferry him the short four kilometer stretch from the Colesberg stadium to the local Wimpy for breakfast, at a further estimated cost of R1500. His air travel expenses are more than 30 times the price of an average breakfast at the restaurant.
The DA has it on good authority that this is not the first time that the high flying commissioner’s elaborate ways have landed him in hot water.
It is believed that, at the end of last year, the police chopper was temporarily removed from the service of the Northern Cape after a pilot, employed on a national level, reported Shivuri’s abuse of the helicopter.
While the SAPS in the Northern Cape have only one helicopter and one airplane for policing, Shivuri clearly thinks nothing of exploiting the SAPS chopper service. Instead, he has knowingly racked up valuable flying time, which is actually intended for chasing down car thieves, tracking criminals on the loose and even hunting rhino poachers, for his own personal benefit.
It is deplorable that a Police Commissioner chooses to so blatantly abuse his power and misuse state resources at the expense of fighting crime. The DA has provided IPID with all the information at our disposal regarding Shivuri’s jet-set weekend in Colesberg.
We have further written to the chairperson of the legislature portfolio committee on Safety, Gladys Oliphant, requesting her to urgently summon Shivuri to appear before committee to answer questions so that we can assess whether his presence at the ANC Provincial Elective Conference in Colesberg, in his capacity as provincial police commissioner, can be justified.
Shivuri, who has recently come under the national spotlight for meeting with underworld figure, Nafiz Modack, urgently needs to be reigned in. Despite his high-ranking position in the police service and regardless of who he calls his friends, he is not above the law and he must be held accountable for his actions.
DA Northern Cape Spokesperson of Transport, Safety & Liaison
082 494 6648
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387