Durban - The parliamentary oversight committee on police expressed outrage on Friday that newly-appointed SAPS acting National Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba again snubbed their appeals to appear before the committee.
"This is totally unacceptable; he has a responsibility to parliament and this committee," a visibly annoyed committee chairman Francois Beukman told police representatives and journalists at SAPS provincial headquarters in Durban.
"If the acting commissioner isn't interested in KZN, we are never going to solve this," he said, in reference to challenges that included excessively high rates of murder at uMlazi’s Glebelands Hostel, dozens of politically-motivated killings in the province and a scarcity of policing resources and infrastructure.
Before announcing that Mothiba had again snubbed the committee, it was revealed during a presentation that the special task team investigating political killings in the province was working on 38 cases, ranging from murder to arson.
Twenty one of those cases were for murder and of those 11 were under investigation. Ten were in court and 34 arrests had been made.
Seven cases of attempted murder had been reported, five were under investigation, two were in court and five arrests had been made.
Under these circumstances, it was unacceptable that Mothiba was not present while his subordinate, acting provincial commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa, was, according to Beukman.
"As the accounting officer, he needs to be here. We are not going to solve KwaZulu-Natal's budget and resource challenges without national representation," he said.
The committee has been traversing KwaZulu-Natal since Monday to investigate the state of policing in the province.
Mothiba was asked to join the committee at uMlazi police station on Thursday for discussions on politically-motivated killings, police collusion and violence at Glebelands Hostel, but had other commitments.
At that meeting, the committee heard that there had been 12 murders inside the hostel complex this year, 12 attempted murders and five acts of intimidation.
Just hours after the Thursday meeting ended, a 30-year-old woman was shot and killed at the hostel, bringing the total number of murders in the last two weeks to three.
"It is a great tragedy that another person has been killed [at Glebelands]. It clearly shows you that that environment is not suitable as a safe and secure environment," Beekman said after announcing the murder to committee members on Friday.
"Glebelands is not only a security issue. It is an issue for the province and the municipality. SAPS must be given the powers to find the perpetrators," he said.
He said that a call would be made on Langa to ensure more police and resources were available at the hostel and that more intelligence-driven investigations took place in order to break the cycle of violence.