Zille, NGO welcome police inquiry ruling

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Copy of IOL pic sep13 helen zille Independent Newspapers Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille. File photo: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - Non-governmental organisation, the Social Justice Coalition, said it was “delighted” at the outcome of a high court ruling on Monday that a commission of inquiry into alleged police inefficiency in Khayelitsha was indeed legal.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa lost a court bid to halt the commission, which was set up by Western Cape premier Helen Zille last year.

“This means that at least there is something that is going 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 also welcomed the ruling.

“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 that Zille's decision to appoint the commission would have an impact on the independence of the SA Police Service.

Mthethwa's legal team also said the commission was established to make media headlines. - Sapa



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