Gauteng police suspend oversight function of CPFs: DA

2015-07-19 18:15
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba is seen at a news conference discussing the recent robberies at malls. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba is seen at a news conference discussing the recent robberies at malls. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba has contravened the SA Police Service Act by suspending the oversight functions of all community policing forums in the province, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.

"In a letter addressed to all station and cluster commanders in Gauteng, the commissioner states that until such time that the national police commissioner instructs otherwise, his office 'will not permit any oversight role by the CPFs at any police station within the Gauteng province', " DA MPL Kate Lorimer said in a statement.

Police could not immediately comment.

Lorimer said this was in contravention of section 18(1) of the act, which states that provincial police shall establish CPFs with the view of improving transparency and accountability.

In the letter, Mothiba said his office took note of the decision, as discussed by the community safety MEC at a quarterly review session last month, that CPFs had to be involved in oversight visits at all police stations.

However, he said his office was never consulted about this new oversight role.

"The national commissioner of the SAPS has been requested to give clarity in respect of the said Minmec's [meeting of ministers and MECs] decision," Mothiba wrote in the letter.

"Until such time that there is clarity on this matter, this office will not permit any oversight role by the CPFs at any police station within the Gauteng province."

Lorimer said the commissioner could not simply suspend civilian oversight, which she said was a constitutionally mandated exercise.

"The fight against crime in Gauteng cannot be won without the co-operation of all members of our society and to dismiss this critical oversight function is to place the safety and security of all of us at further risk," she said.

Read more on:    saps  |  kate lorimer  |  johannesburg  |  police

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