Policing to be probed, says Zille

2012-08-22 20:16
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille

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Johannesburg - A commission of inquiry has been set up to investigate policing problems in Khayelitsha, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said on Wednesday.

"I am announcing the appointment of a commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and of a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in the area," Zille said in a statement.

She said she was initially asked to set up a commission into policing in the township by a group of civil society organisations, represented by the Women's Legal Centre, in November last year.

"The complaint alleged that there was systemic failure by the South African Police Service in Khayelitsha to prevent, combat and investigate crime, take statements, open cases and apprehend criminals, resulting in a breakdown in relations between the community and the police."

Vigilante killings

Zille said this breakdown was believed to have led to a spate of vigilante killings in parts of Khayelitsha.

"To date, there have been at least 14 known acts of vigilante killings."

Zille has appointed Judge Catherine O' Regan and advocate Vusumzi Patrick Pikoli as the commissioners.

Advocates Nazreen Bawa and Thembalihle Sidaki would assist the commission in gathering evidence and, if necessary, the leading of any evidence before the commission.

Amanda Dissel was appointed as the commission's secretary.

"The terms of reference of the commission are to investigate the complaints I have received alleging police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations and particularly the reasons for, and causes of them, if found to exist," Zille said.


She said she had communicated with the police since November last year, but only received a substantive response after General Riah Phiyega was appointed national police commissioner.

Phiyega requested a three-week extension to Zille's deadline to establishing a commission of inquiry, for her office to investigate the problems in Khayelitsha.

The deadline was extended three times to 31 July, but Phiyega's office had still not responded by then, Zille said.

Zille said she met the complainants on 6 August, and they still wanted a commission of inquiry.

The commission must compile and submit a report to Zille within six months.

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