National police commissioner Khehla Sithole. FILE PHOTO: PHANDO JIKELO/ANA

Cape Town - The directive policy which instructed the reporting of the missing persons after 24 hours was withdrawn in September last year, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

“A directive from my office has been issued withdrawing the directives that talks to the reporting of the missing children after 24 hours,” the South African national police commissioner General Khehla Sithole said.

Sithole was briefing the parliamentary committee on police on the Engcobo police station killings earlier this year in which five police officers and a retired soldier were gunned down.

He was also giving an update on the technology strategy with special reference to CCTV for police stations and also on the situation at Mamelodi West police station in which police officers earlier this month allegedly mishandled a case of a missing child, Katlego Joja, 10, whose body was found days later after her parents had been turned away from the station after reporting her missing.

“The moment the incident is reported at the community service centre (CSC), every CSC in the country has got a CSC commander. Any police member who is junior at the CSC will report to the CSC commander when dealing with these incidents, and the CSC commander makes an operational decision to give guidance and instructions on the sport.”

He told members of Parliament (MPs) that the nature of the case warranted the immediate reporting to the station commander at any time around the clock and such incidents required interventions over and above the police station.

However, Joja’s family was turned back twice, something which according to police was a complete contradiction to the new instructions.

The minister of police was contacted with regards to the allegations against the police officers who had attended the family’s complaints.

MPs further heard that a meeting with the whole management of Mamelodi West police station as well as cluster management was convened in order to determine the sequence of events which had led to that decision, dissatisfaction of the family with regards to the basic service delivery that should have been rendered to the family when they came to report for the first time.

The disciplinary hearings of all members involved were still under investigation.

African News Agency/ANA