THE POLICE Ministry and the SAPS say they are studying the terms of reference of a commission of inquiry appointed by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to probe the conduct of the Khayelitsha police.
Civil society groups have welcomed the probe. But the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer, would not comment and referred the Cape Argus to national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega.
Police Ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi said it and the national SAPS office had noted Zille’s announcement.
Meanwhile, Dr Johan Burger, a senior researcher on crime and justice at the Institute of Security Studies, said it was an excellent decision that would benefit the Western Cape and the rest of the country.
“The only criticism I have… is that the commission was not appointed at a national level. I recommended to President [Jacob Zuma] in June 2011 that he investigate the SAPS. I identified a list of problems and asked him to look at what is wrong with the police and why it is wrong,” he said.
In a joint statement, the Social Justice Coalition, Treatment Action Campaign, Ndifuna Ukwazi, Equal Edu- cation and the Women’s Legal Centre said: “We have noted the continued failures on the part of the police and others responsible for safety and justice in Khayelitsha.”
Zille appointed the commission in terms of section 206 (5) of the constitution, read with the Provincial Commissions Act of 1998.
This is the first time this section has been invoked by a province.
Civil society organisations lodged a complaint with Zille’s office on November 28.