Community members protest outside the Chatsworth police station after the death of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj.

To make submissions or complaints, write to Mr Len John via e-mail: [email protected]

Durban - THE Fact-Finding Committee established by Police Minister Bheki Cele to probe the conduct of Chatsworth police officers after the protests that erupted after Sadia Sukhraj's murder  has given the Chatsworth community an opportunity to make written submissions or complaints. 

This in light of allegations levelled against police that they had responded violently to residents protesting outside the Chatsworth Police Station on May 28. 

The protest came just hours after 9-year-old Sadia was murdered when suspected criminals pounced on her father's car while he dropped off her younger brother at a relatives house in Shallcross. 

The incident had initially been thought to be a hijacking, but it emerged in the Durban Magistrate's Court that the suspect only faced charges of theft, kidnapping and two counts of murder - for the death of Sadia and one of the suspects who was killed at the scene.

The committee said the gathering was borne out of frustration and the community was seeking answers from senior police officers.

Members of the Chatsworth community said at the time they had been attacked with stun grenades and rubber bullets. 

About 20 people were arrested and charged. Many were injured. 

Rennie Govender, who planned to run his 20th Comrades, contemplates the long road to recovery. A tear-gas canister fired by police at this week’s protest outside the Chatsworth police station broke his shin bone. He doesn't think he’ll ever be able to compete in the epic road race again. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

One of those who was injured at the time was Rennie Govender, 63, who lost his chance to run for his 20th Comrades Marathon medal when a tear-gas canister fired into the crowd broke his shin bone, the Sunday Tribune reported at the time.

“I doubt I will ever run again,” said the grandfather at the time.

Following a community Imbizo held in Chatsworth, the community raised concerns about the heavy-handed actions of the police and the high levels of crime in Bottlebrush, Chatsworth and Shallcross. Cele established a fact-finding committee. 

This committee comprises of members from the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSPS), the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Sadia Sukhraj.

To make submissions or complaints, write to Mr Len John via e-mail: [email protected]

Closing date for submissions is September 14. 

DAILY NEWS