No decision on police inquiry yet

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IOL pic nov22 unathi mthethwa police Independent Newspapers Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. File photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Cape Town - The police ministry is still contemplating whether to approach the Constitutional Court over the establishment of the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry.

“We are still considering that. We are to engage with the legal team and no final decision has been reached on the process,” police spokesman Zweli Mnisi said.

“We will issue a statement by late this afternoon (Monday) or maybe tomorrow.”

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) earlier said Mthethwa's legal team contacted it on Monday to ask for an address to serve Constitutional Court appeal papers at.

“They are serving the papers on our correspondent attorneys in Johannesburg. It is expected today but I wouldn't be surprised if it's tomorrow,” SJC lawyer Sanja Bornman (SUBS: CORRECT) told Sapa.

Western Cape premier Helen Zille established the commission in August last year to investigate the state of policing in the Cape Town community, following a spate of vigilante killings by Khayelitsha residents.

Zille tasked the commission with investigating allegations of a breakdown in relations between residents and police members.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa approached the Western Cape High Court late last year for an urgent interdict against the commission's establishment, arguing it would affect the independence of the SA Police Service (SAPS). His application was dismissed in mid-January.

The commission had been due to complete its work and hand in a completed report by February 24.

Commission secretary Amanda Dissel said this work would not be completed in time because of the complexity of the issues being dealt with.

It planned to begin with its hearings towards the end of February and would announce dates closer to the time.

It had written to Zille asking for an extension of the deadline for the submission of its report.

Zille's spokesman Zak Mbhele said on Monday the premier was still considering the request.

“We are considering the request for the commission's timeframe to be extended by another six months to August. We need to look at the budgetary implications of doing that,” he said.

The commission had invited Khayelitsha residents to visit its local office between 9am and 1pm on weekends, until February 28, to make statements.

Those who could not make it during the week were invited to make an appointment on Saturdays. - Sapa


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