Khayelitsha student officers will be a burden - activist

2015-08-12 17:36
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The SA Police Service (SAPS) has “beefed up” Khayelitsha police stations with 105 student constables, but a civil society organisation says they will be a burden rather than a help.

Ndifuna Ukwazi director, Zackie Achmat, said the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry into policing had asked for experienced police officers to be redeployed there.

“When we talk about misallocation of resources, it’s not about simply putting more boots on the street; it’s about putting more qualified people into the posts to deal with crime.”

Achmat was addressing journalists outside Parliament on Wednesday.

“Imagine you are a detective, an experienced detective with 100 murder cases on your desk. If you now have to take a student on to help you, you basically have to run a class,” Achmat said.

The police said in a statement they were fully committed to the process of instituting some of the recommendations made in the commission’s report.

Policing in informal settlements

The 500-page report concluded a year ago that there were serious inefficiencies in policing in the area and that there was a breakdown of trust between the community and police.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said they had worked tirelessly to strengthen relations with residents and other local parties.

The police appointed a commander for the cluster and remained committed to building the Makhaza police station in the area, he said.

The Social Justice Coalition and Ndifuna Ukwazi have threatened to take Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to court should he not respond to the commission’s report.

They also will not rest until national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, resigns or is dismissed.

“Today as we sit here, the SAPS doesn’t have a guideline for patrolling and doing visible policing in informal settlements. The excuse is that there are no roads,” said Achmat.

“Are you saying it’s impossible to police poor and working class communities? If so, then you shouldn’t be ruling the country because there should be people who have the capacity to ensure that informal settlements receive the police they need.”

Read more on:    police  |  zackie achmat  |  riah phiyega  |  cape town  |  crime

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