Mthethwa must live with commission, court told

2012-12-13 20:24
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa just has to live with the establishment of a commission of inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Peter Hawthorne, for the NGO Social Justice Coalition (SJC), told the court Mthethwa's legal team had failed to prove the commission would cause irreparable harm to the SA Police Service.

Hawthorne was responding to calls from Mthethwa's legal team to declare Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's establishment of the commission unlawful and unconstitutional.

Norman Arendse, for Mthethwa, said Zille overstepped her powers by appointing retired judge Catherine O'Regan and advocate Vusi Pikoli to probe allegations of police inefficiency in the area.

He said the Constitution conferred certain entitlements to provinces to monitor police conduct and effectiveness.

Arendse said the premier and her cabinet were, however, not entitled to issue summons or search warrants on police.

"Provincial commissioners are accountable to the national commissioner, and not accountable to a provincial cabinet and premier," said Arendse.

The court was packed with SJC activists, who led the call for the commission to be established following a string of vigilante killings in Khayelitsha.

Community members complained police inaction had led to residents taking the law into their own hands.

The O'Regan/Pikoli commission was meant to hold public hearings from 12 November to 14 December.

The commission was suspended pending the outcome of Mthethwa's application.


Read more on:    police  |  norman arendse  |  nathi mthethwa  |  helen zille  |  vusi pikoli  |  cape town

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