Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa would study a court ruling on Monday upholding a decision by the Western Cape to probe alleged police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, his office said.
“We have noted the Western Cape High Court's judgment...we are currently studying the full judgment and shall determine a way forward on whether to uphold or appeal this ruling,” his spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, said.
Mthethwa lost a Western Cape High Court bid to halt the commission, which was set up by provincial premier Helen Zille after complaints by various community organisations last year.
The complaints followed a string of vigilante killings by residents, who claimed police inaction compelled them to take the law into their own hands.
Khayelitsha residents, led by NGO the Social Justice Coalition, welcomed the ruling.
“This means that at least there is something that is gong to be done about the state of crime in Khayelitsha, so we are very happy,” said SJC spokesman Axolile Notywala.
Notywala said the community deserved to know what the underlying problems were that led to scores of vigilante killings in the area last year.
“We are sad that it had to be dragged into court because this is taxpayers money that was wasted here,” said Notywala.
He said the commission would have completed much of its work had the court challenge not occurred.
Zille's spokesman Zak Mbhele said the premier was happy about the outcome.
“It's a great affirmation of our understanding of the role of provinces in providing oversight to the police,” said Mbhele.
Mbhele said he hoped the commission could now continue with its work unhindered.
Asked how soon public hearings would start, Mbhele said: “It would be up to the commission to determine their time frames, but they do have the deadline of the end of February to complete and deliver their report, so as soon as possible would be our preference.”
Mthethwa last year argued Western Cape premier Helen Zille's decision to appoint the commission would have an impact on the independence of SAPS.
Mthethwa's legal team also said the commission was established to make media headlines. - Sapa