Riah Phiyega Biography: Age, Husband, Current Job, Children, Net Worth, Qualifications, News, Salary

Posted By Princess Tshegofatso


Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega SOEG (born May 29, 1958), widely recognized as Riah Phiyega, is a celebrated South African police officer. 

She made history as the first woman to assume the role of National Police Commissioner of the South African Police Service. Her appointment to this significant position came on June 12, 2012, under the presidency of Jacob Zuma.

Riah Phiyega served as the national commissioner from 2015 to 2017, marking a groundbreaking moment as the first woman to hold this esteemed office within the South African Police Service.

However, her tenure was overshadowed by controversy. Riah Phiyega faced criticism for her handling of the Marikana massacre in 2012, where 34 miners lost their lives. Additionally, she was scrutinized for managing the 2015 taxi violence incidents in Cape Town.

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Riah Phiyega: History ‧ Bio ‧ Photo
Wiki Facts & About Data
Full Name: Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega
Stage Name: Riah Phiyega
Born: 29 May 1958 (age 65 years old)
Place of Birth: Polokwane, South Africa
Nationality: South African
Education: University of Limpopo, University of South Africa, University of Johannesburg
Height: 1.61 m
Parents: Rebecca Moloisi, GJ Moloisi
Siblings: Matilda Moloisi, Abigail Moloisi
Spouse: Elias Phiyega
Boyfriend • Partner: N/A
Children: 3
Occupation: Police Officer
Net Worth: $400,000-$1 million (USD)

Early Life & Education

Born on May 29, 1958, in Leolo, Limpopo, South Africa, Riah Phiyega hails from a small community. Her educational journey began with regular train trips from her Polokwane residence to Johannesburg. Despite her humble beginnings, the determined young girl pursued her studies at Leolo High School, setting the foundation for her future achievements.

Growing up with two sisters, Matilda Moloisi and Abigail MoloisiRiah Phiyega was born to parents Rebecca Moloisi and GJ Moloisi. She furthered her education at the University of the North, now known as the University of Limpopo, earning a BA in social work. 

Complementing this, Riah Phiyega holds a BA Hons in Social Sciences from the University of South Africa and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Johannesburg.


Riah Phiyega commenced her career with the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 1980, entering as a constable. Over the years, she climbed the ranks, achieving the rank of lieutenant general in 2010. Her journey within SAPS included serving as the Deputy National Commissioner for Human Resource Management and Training, marking a pivotal step before her eventual nomination as the National Commissioner.

Her professional trajectory extended beyond law enforcement, as she played a crucial role in restructuring Portnet, an organization she joined after SAPS. As a senior management team member, Riah Phiyega contributed significantly to the division of Portnet into two independent entities: Port Operations and Port Authority. Subsequently, she joined the executive team of the South African National Ports Authority.

In addition to her law enforcement and port-related roles, Riah Phiyega took on various leadership positions. She served as the chairman of Production House (1998–1999), a board member of Connex Travel (1997–2000), commissioner for the Satchwell Road Accident Foundation Commission (2000–2002), board member for the 2010 South Africa World Cup bid (2002–2010), and chair of the Presidential State Review Committee (2010–2012).

Appointed as the national police commissioner by President Jacob Zuma in 2012, Riah Phiyega succeeded Bheki Cele. However, her tenure faced challenges, notably the suspension following the Marikana massacre in 2012, where protesting miners lost their lives. Despite not facing corruption charges, she was removed from office in 2015, marking the end of her term as the National Commissioner.

Awards & Nominations

  • South African Police Service Ten-Year Commemoration Medal
  • South African Police Service World Cup 2010 Support Award

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: RIAH (@riahthegirl)

Personal Life

Riah Phiyega, the 65-year-old law enforcement officer, shares a marital bond with Elias Phiyega, and together, they have nurtured a family of three children. 

With a matrimonial journey spanning over 25 years, Riah and Elias Phiyega have built a life together and embraced the joys of parenthood, extending their legacy to include three children. In addition to their roles as parents, Riah Phiyega also takes pride in her role as a grandmother.

Net Worth

Riah Phiyega‘s net worth was predicted to be between $400,000 and $1 million. Despite a successful law enforcement career, Phiyega has experienced controversy and criticism throughout her stint as National Police Commissioner.

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