W Cape hamstrung by police - inquiry

2014-02-05 21:57
Khayelitsha (File)

Khayelitsha (File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The Western Cape community safety department has become a mere postbox for complaints against the police, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

"We were no more than a postbox... we could not rapidly reply to complaints," department head Gilbert Lawrence testified.

He recounted how he and his officials clashed with the SA Police Service on the interpretation of their oversight role in policing.

Section 206 (3) allows provinces to monitor police conduct and play an oversight role.

Lawrence said that prior to 2010, his officials would receive complaints and would ask police for answers.

In addition, his officials would make unannounced visits to police stations in response to complaints from community members.

However, this was not allowed after 2010.

"Our oversight role... required that we should investigate complaints and be able to visit police stations," Lawrence said.

"The police then said, this is how we interpret it. The net result was that complaints now have to go to a nodal point."

Lawrence indicated the ability to monitor police and respond to complaints against officers was curtailed.

The department had become a mere postbox for such complaints.

It also lacked jurisdiction in operational matters, which meant police could cite this as a reason for not providing information on complaints.

Operational matters are the day to day crime fighting capabilities of the police.

Norman Arendse, for the police, accused Lawrence of failing to do his job despite having the powers to investigate complaints.

Lawrence said the confusion on what "oversight" meant was causing some of these failures.

"We would like a definitive end to this so we know what we can do or can't do," he said.

"The police have tremendous powers. They can take away civil liberties... and they need to be held accountable."

The commission was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to probe accusations by civil society formations that police inaction was leading to an increase in mob justice killings in the area.

Its activities were delayed for some time when Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa tried to have the inquiry scrapped.

Mthethwa lost his legal bid to stop the commission in the Constitutional Court in October last year.

- SAPA
Read more on:    saps  |  nathi mthethwa  |  helen zille  |  cape town
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 18:17 PM
Road name: Wet Weather

RAIN across the Cape Town area - turn on headlights, reduce speeds and drive with care

Hout Bay 09:25 AM
Road name: Chapmans Peak Drive

WEDNESDAYS - STOP / GO controls between 10am and 3pm for Alien Vegetation Clearing - every Wednesday - weather permitting

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.