Mthethwa loses court bid

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nathi nov 2 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa File photo: Oupa Mokoena

Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Monday dismissed an application by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for an urgent interdict against the establishment of a commission of inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha.

Mthethwa last year argued that Western Cape premier Helen Zille's decision to appoint the commission would have an impact on the independence of the SA Police Service (SAPS).

He was responding to counter arguments by advocates representing Zille, NGO the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), and the commission itself.

Advocate Peter Hawthorne, acting for the SJC, told the court Mthethwa's legal team had failed to prove the commission would cause irreparable harm to the SAPS.

The court was packed with SJC activists on Monday.

The activists had led the call for the commission to be established following a string of vigilante killings in Khayelitsha.

Community members complained police inaction had led to residents taking the law into their own hands.

The commission was meant to hold public hearings from November 12 to December 14.

The commission was since suspended pending the outcome of Mthethwa's application. - Sapa

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