Inquiry into Khayelitsha policing to start

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

Cape Town -

The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry to probe police inefficiencies in the township starts on Tuesday but the police are yet to provide documents on mob killings.

The commission, tasked with investigating alleged police inefficiencies and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police, will hold inspections in loco from Tuesday. It was ready to begin public sittings on Thursday after the two days allocated to inspections.

Commission secretary Amanda Dissel said it had received most of the documents requested from the police and it had distributed them to all the parties. “There are still some documents that are outstanding that we have queried from SAPS regarding charge sheets on vigilante murders.”

The documents relating to vigilante murders had been requested by commission chairwoman Kate O’Regan in November but the police had no classification of vigilante or mob killings.

But advocate Peter Hathorn, appearing for the Social Justice Coalition, noted that in 2002 police management had implemented a register in the client service centre where all vigilantism incidents are recorded. There was also a document called the Vigilantism Prevention Strategy, Hathorn said.

At the time, Hathorn said it was important that the documents be seen today.

During the inspections three police stations, Khayelitsha, Harare and Lingelethu West will be the first to receive a visit from the commission headed by retired Constitutional Court Judge O’Regan and former NPA head Vusi Pikoli. Evening inspections are planned for BM Section, JPS and Green Point informal settlements.

On Wednesday the commission will visit Nkanini informal settlement, Harare Park, Ilitha Park and the Site C taxi rank.

On Thursday a public sitting will be held at Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha where the Social Justice Coalition, the police, the city and community safety department will give evidence.

The commission, set up two years ago by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will finally get going after it had been stalled by lack of co-operation from the police and court challenges by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Mthethwa lost cases at the Western Cape High Court and the Constitutional Court. The commission had been established after the SJC and its allies had submitted a complaint to Zille about the police’s alleged inefficiencies.

Many residents had lost faith in the police and resorted to taking the law into their own hands, condemning suspected criminals to death by stoning or necklacing.

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Cape Times


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