R200 discount for liking us on FB
Cape Town - The O’Regan Commission of Inquiry into alleged police inefficiency in Khayelitsha has postponed public hearings until the Constitutional Court rules on the legality of such an inquiry.
The Concourt is expected to hear the matter on August 6.
The commission, headed by retired Justice Catherine O’Regan, was set up by Premier Helen Zille in October to probe allegations of police inefficiency and an alleged “breakdown in relations” between the community of Khayelitsha and the police.
A month after being established, national Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa approached the Western Cape High Court in a bid to stop the commission from going ahead.
He argued that the commission was “unconstitutional” and “illegal”.
Mthethwa’s application was dismissed, with costs, in January, prompting the minister to take the matter on appeal to the Concourt.
Last week, commission secretary Amanda Dissel said the public hearings, which were set to resume this week, had been postponed until the Concourt ruled on the matter.
Residents could, however, still make statements at the commission offices in Harare, Khayelitsha, on weekdays between 9am and 1pm.
“For now, the public hearings have been put on hold, but people can make statements at our offices,” Dissel said.
Zille, pictured, told the Cape Argus she would defend the establishment of the commission in the courts so that it could get on with its investigation.
Zackie Achmat of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), which called for the inquiry, said it was “foolish” of Mthethwa to appeal against the high court decision.
Mthethwa is expected to submit his heads of argument on the matter by April 15.
His spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, said the appeal would be based on the contents of the minority judgment in his unsuccessful bid to stop the inquiry.
Mnisi said that in the majority high court judgment, it was concluded Zille had complied fully with the principles of co-operative government.
“The minority judgment, on the other hand, concluded that the intergovernmental processes had not been fully complied with.
(It) would have ordered the parties to finalise those processes and report back to the court, so that the court could consider the application again,” he said.