Cape Town - The negative results of inspections at the Harare police station in Khayelitsha are not a fair reflection of policing in the area, a senior detective said on Friday.
Testifying in Cape Town at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into alleged police inefficiency in the area, former station detective head Andrew Tobias disagreed with the results of a 2011
report by the provincial police inspectorate.
Pushed by Peter Hathorn, for complainant organisation Social Justice Coalition (SJC), on why there were 70 case dockets “unaccounted for” in the report, Tobias said: “All the dockets are accounted for.”
“It was just misplaced on a table... it wasn't physically there for the inspection team to see,” he said.
Hathorn also questioned Tobias on the 3.4 percent conviction rate for the first quarter of 2011.
“It is absolutely not right,” Tobias said.
“Those are only the cases that are finalised. There are cases still running in court. In order to get a conviction, the case must be finalised,” he said.
Tobias conceded that dockets did not arrive in court on time.
When Hathorn put it to him that a senior prosecutor had accused police of “defeating the ends of justice” because late dockets were hampering the proper administration of justice, Tobias said: “It can happen 1/8that 3/8 it bothers with the running of the courts. I admit, it can happen.”
Tobias worked at the Harare police station from 2007 to 2012.
His testimony remained incomplete by the end of what would have been the last day of phase one of the commission's hearings on Friday.
The first phase has now been extended after witness testimony took longer than expected.
The hearings will continue on March 17.
The commission - headed by retired constitutional court judge Kate O'Regan and advocate Vusi Pikoli - was set up by Western Cape premier Helen Zille after the SJC complained that police inefficiency was among the main causes of vigilante killings in the area.