Western Cape has too little cops

Cape Town - The Western Cape has the lowest staff compliment of police in the country, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Brigadier Leon Rabie, an organisational design practitioner at police headquarters in Pretoria, testified that a recruitment drive was under way to increase the number of officers in the three most understaffed provinces in the country, including the Western Cape.

Boys enjoy a game of soccer on a field known by Khayelitsha residents as the "field of death". Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“Out of 1070 posts, the decision was taken to allocate 60 percent of the posts to the Western Cape... because it's one of the provinces that are the worst off,” Rabie said.

The other two understaffed provinces were the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

The reason the Western Cape lagged behind was because of historical practices, he said.

The SA Police Service was currently enlisting 663 constables to be trained and deployed in the province after a budget allocation was made during the current financial year.

Rabie testified in week five of the commission's public hearings which have been extended by nine days due to testimony running over the scheduled time.

The commission was established by Western Cape premier Helen Zillen after NGO the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) complained of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

The SJC also insist the police inefficiency is responsible for an apparent increase in mob justice killings.

Police Minister Nathi Mthetwa tried to halt the commission from being set up, but lost his legal bid to do so in the Constitutional Court last year.