Police try to stop inquiry

2012-10-29 19:23
Police (Picture: Sapa)

Police (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The SA Police Service tried to halt a commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, the commission heard on Monday.

Chair Justice Catherine O'Regan said the commission received a letter from the State attorney on Friday, secretary Amanda Dissel said in a statement.

"The commission had received a letter from the State attorney acting on behalf of SAPS, in which it was indicated that SAPS was considering the institution of legal proceedings," Dissel said.

"[These proceedings would] challenge the establishment of the commission on the basis that the process of intergovernmental consultations regarding the establishment... was not completed properly."

O'Regan said on Monday the commission told the State attorney it had to complete a full report on the inquiry by 24 February next year.

If proceedings were suspended, the commission would not have any time to meet its report deadline.

"The commission of course has no knowledge of the intergovernmental processes relating to its establishment and in the meantime will proceed on the basis that its establishment and mandate are lawful," Dissel said.

SABC news reported on Monday that the government said it would seek an urgent high court application compelling the inquiry to halt its work.

Last month, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa asked for a meeting with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to discuss the inquiry, which he said was "premature".

Earlier in August, Zille appointed a commission of inquiry, headed by O'Regan and advocate Vusi Pikoli, citing a break-down of trust between Khayelitsha residents and the police.

At its first sitting on Monday, procedural issues were discussed.

Public hearings would be held at the OR Tambo Hall, in Khayelitsha, from November 12 to December 14.

- SAPA

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