Cops downplay Khayelitsha report

2014-03-18 22:33
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A damning report into policing in Khayelitsha was downplayed by one of its authors at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

Brigadier Hermias van Zyl was part of a task team sent by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to Khayelitsha in July 2012 to investigate complaints of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

"They [the commissioners] must treat this report on face value," van Zyl testified.

The report contained "assumptions" from the task team based on "observations" during a five day "fact-finding mission" to the three police stations in Khayelitsha.

"They [commissioners] must not use this report as a yardstick to actually come to a conclusion that there is poor service delivery," van Zyl said.

The report highlighted, among other things, a low conviction rate for serious crimes in Khayelitsha, a high number of cases being withdrawn due to dockets not arriving at court on time, and police involvement in crimes not being adequately investigated.

Van Zyl argued this did not mean one could make a general statement that there was police inefficiency in the area.

"What we have found was not so serious. If we found serious inefficiency we would not have left the stations as is," he said.

The task team report was sent to Phiyega so she could institute a broader investigation into policing in the area.

Not unique

However, this investigation was halted as a result of the establishment of the Khayeltisha Commission of Inquiry.

"The broader intervention team was never constituted," the senior police officer said.

Van Zyl said the situation at Khayelitsha was not unique as many other police stations in the country faced similar problems.

This included staff shortages.

"If you visit the three stations, you find 30% of personnel that is supposed to be there is not there," he said.

This was due to not only absenteeism, but police officers being away on training.

Van Zyl explained the low conviction rate, including a conviction rate of under 3% for murder, was due to witnesses not coming forward.

The task team report was originally classified, but became public, after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa tried to stop the establishment of the commission.

After Mthethwa lost his Constitutional Court bid, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille set up the commission - which started sitting in late January this year.

Commission evidence leaders and legal representatives acting for complainant organisation, the Social Justice Coalition, referred to the task team report while questioning several witnesses during the hearings.

Read more on:    police  |  riah phiyega  |  cape town  |  crime
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are eager to please and expand your horizons today. You may take on more than you anticipated and feel the effects later. Keep...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.