Colonel denies policing crisis

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IOL  Khayelitsha SAPS charge office

Independent Newspapers

Inside the Khayelitsha SAPS charge office. File picture: Obed Zilwa

Cape Town - A police colonel in Khayelitsha denied on Friday that policing in the Cape Town township was dysfunctional.

“I don't agree that there's a crisis in policing,” Colonel Michael Reitz, who heads the Lingelethu West police station, testified before the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry in Cape Town.

“Policing is going on on a daily basis,” Reitz said as he was cross-examined by Peter Hathorn, for NGO the Social Justice Coalition (SJC).

Hathorn referred to several assessments done by the provincial police inspectorate which painted a bleak picture of policing in Reitz's precinct.

“From 2009/10 1/8financial year 3/8 to 2010/11 there was a radical drop in your efficiency rate... to 56.18 percent,” Hathorn said.

During the same period, the station's ranking dropped from number 58 out of the province's 149 police stations to number 106.

Reitz took over command at Lingelethu West during the same period.

“I put it to you that your station hasn't thrived under you,” Hathorn said.

Reitz disagreed.

“With what is given to me according to functional posts, I'm able to address the problems and cope,” he said.

The assessments noted poor record keeping at Lingelethu West, as well as the duties of officers not being accounted for.

Reitz insisted the assessments were not a fair reflection of what was happening on the ground.

Hathorne also asked Reitz to explain an apparent lack of disciplinary steps against errant officers, which was akin to “defeating the ends of justice”.

“That's not fair... if all these things were done why was there no disciplinary action taken against me,” he answered.

Reitz admitted there was a shortage of detectives and resources.

However, he never raised these problems with his cluster commander.

Sapa


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