Independent Online

Monday, August 15, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

No justice for killed homeless man

Joxo lived in a tent on Chester Street and was shot in the mouth and killed, allegedly by City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officer Luvolwethu Kati. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Joxo lived in a tent on Chester Street and was shot in the mouth and killed, allegedly by City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officer Luvolwethu Kati. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 24, 2022

Share

Cape Town - Still mourning the killing of his close friend who was shot dead allegedly by a 22-year-old Law Enforcement officer, Christopher Caesar believes that the City’s failure to suspend the officer was further proof that the lives of homeless people were undervalued.

JoXo has been described as the kindest and calmest person among those living in the area and his partner.

Instead, the City changed officer Luvolwethu Kati’s tasks while charged with murder of Dumisani Joxo, a homeless man in Rondebosch.

Story continues below Advertisement

Joxo, 48, was shot dead in January while trying to intervene in a scuffle between another friend and Kati, in Rondebosch.

Joxo’s friend allegedly refused to extinguish a small cooking fire when ordered to do so by the Law Enforcement officials, which resulted in the tussle.

Kati is out on R1 000 bail and is expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on July 29 after his case was postponed on Wednesday last week.

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said Kati remained employed by the City.

Dumisani Joxo

“He has been assigned to do administrative tasks while the matter is pending.

“The City deals with these matters in line with the prescribed labour legislation and relevant City policies.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Caesar said they were shocked to learn that six months later the officer had only received a slap on the wrist.

“This is very discouraging but also not surprising coming from the City. They could have at least suspended him, even for a while, pending the court outcome.

“Our only hope now is in the courts. There have been many incidents of harassment from Law Enforcement officers on homeless people.

Story continues below Advertisement

“Four days prior to the incident Dumisani was assaulted by officers for no reason. He was never a violent man. He was the kindest and calmest person among us here. I really miss him,” he said.

Advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi said the killing of Joxo was a stain on society and showed the harassment faced by homeless people.

“Living on the street is not a choice for people, but is about circumstances that surround housing delivery and social development support.

Story continues below Advertisement

“This show of violence towards Dumisani is symptomatic of the everyday violence that people living on the street face harassment, dispossession of their limited possessions, criminalisation.”

The organisation, which assisted in ensuring that Joxo had a dignified memorial service following the incident, said an apology to the family was the least that could be done.

“It continues with the City and all spheres of the government, acknowledging that criminalising and fining the families living on the street is pointless.

“Law enforcement approaches and regressive by-laws are not the answer.

“Rather develop a more progressive policy that addresses people living on the street. This starts with being proactive in talking to the families living on the street to understand the needs, provide comprehensive support, particularly around social development and substance abuse, and accelerate various forms of housing and shelters that work for the people,” it said.

Criminologist Dr Guy Lamb had said such incidents raised a series of questions about the effectiveness of firearm training and the vetting process.

“Police within South Africa are often confronted by prerogative people, meaning training is paramount. We have seen cases where officers are provoked and they become frustrated and respond violently by injuring a person or, even worse, a person dies,” said Lamb.

Asked if the City’s firearm training, as well as the vetting process of officers suitable to carry firearms, had been reviewed following the incident, the City said Kati was in possession of a firearm competency certificate issued by police and all law enforcement officers are required to have them.

“The officer further underwent the accredited firearm training, which is compulsory for all Law Enforcement and SAPS officers. Training strictly follows the nationally determined standards by the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (Sasseta).

“Law enforcement officers undergo training amounting to six months, which includes both theoretical and supervised practical training.

“Law enforcement training is comprehensive and includes guidance on engaging the public professionally and with compassion,” the City said.

“Law enforcement approaches and regressive by-laws are not the answer. Rather develop a more progressive policy that addresses people living on the street.

“This starts with being proactive in talking to the families living on the street to understand the needs, provide comprehensive support, particularly around social development and substance abuse, and accelerate various forms of housing and shelters that work for the people,” it said.

Criminologist Dr Guy Lamb had said such incidents raised a series of questions about the effectiveness of firearm training and the vetting process.

“Police within South Africa are often confronted by prerogative people, meaning training is paramount. We have seen cases where officers are provoked and they become frustrated and respond violently by injuring a person or, even worse, a person dies,” said Lamb.

Asked if the City’s firearm training, as well as the vetting process of officers suitable to carry firearms, has been reviewed following the incident, the City said Kati was in possession of a firearm competency certificate issued by police and all law enforcement officers are required to have them.

“The officer further underwent the accredited firearm training, which is compulsory for all Law Enforcement and SAPS officers. Training strictly follows the nationally determined standards by the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (Sasseta).

“Law enforcement officers undergo training amounting to six months, which includes both theoretical and supervised practical training. Law enforcement training is comprehensive and includes guidance on engaging the public professionally and with compassion,” the City said.

Cape Times

Share