Khayelitsha cop commission continues

2014-02-07 08:24
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Cape Town - The Khayelitsha commission of inquiry into accusations by civil society formations that police inaction was leading to an increase in "mob justice" killings in the area is expected to continue on Friday.

On Thursday, the commission heard that suspects often walked free from the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court because police dockets failed to arrive on time.

This hampered prosecutors, who were unable to do their jobs without the dockets.

Prosecutor Rochelle Harmse said it was the responsibility of police, particularly investigating officers, to ensure dockets arrived in court on time.

Monthly case flow management meetings were held to ensure bottlenecks were cleared.

At times these meetings would lead to an improvement in the situation but more often than not the situation would go back to "normal" with dockets not arriving on time, or not at all.

The end result would be numerous requests for postponements, as prosecutors were unable to proceed with matters.

Postponements would lead to an infringement of the right to a speedy trial which would force the State to withdraw the matter.

She also related her frustrations in working with the police family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) unit.

Her evidence corroborated that of a doctor working with rape cases, who last week told the commission one FCS officer had 180 dockets on his desk.

Delays in investigations and incomplete dockets would lead to suspected rapists going free.

The commission is chaired by Kate O'Regan. It was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  cape town
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