Steady progress in Khayelitsha 3 years after Commission of Inquiry - Premier's Office

2017-08-21 17:23
Khayelitsha (File) (iStock)

Khayelitsha (File) (iStock)

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Cape Town - Additional detectives and the establishment of a monitoring and oversight committee is part of the progress made in improving policing in Khayelitsha, the office of the Western Cape premier said.

This comes on the third anniversary of the completion of a commission of inquiry.

The commission - headed by retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O'Regan and Advocate Vusi Pikoli - was set up by Premier Helen Zille after the Social Justice Coalition complained that police inefficiency was among the main causes of vigilante killings in the area.

Following the final report and recommendations being handed down in August 2014, a task team was established the next year to oversee the implementation of the 20 recommendations. The group comprises of senior police representatives, members of civil society and officials from the Department of Community Safety (DCS).

"Feedback from the task team and various stakeholders involved points to a marked difference in the working relationship of participants in the safety space in Khayelitsha – a significant change in the right direction," the office of the premier said in a statement on Monday.

'Sharp decrease'

Among the progress made is the appointment of additional detective resources, which had led to a drop in case backlogs from 3 400 cases in 2014 to 1 601 in June 2016.

"At the same time, the number of case dockets per detective has reduced to 65 per member, compared to 100 at the time of the commission."

Leadership and management positions have been filled, a monitoring and oversight team with officials from the department of community safety and police have been established and a "steady reduction" in mob justice incidents were also among the improvements which followed the commission, the premier’s office said. 

Four Khayelitsha neighbourhood watch groups have been accredited by the department of community safety by June 2017, with the goal of conditioning regular patrols in high-risk areas.

It also noted a "sharp decrease" in vigilantism, which dropped from 74 incidents in 2014/15, to 72 incidents in 2015/16 and 45 incidents 2016/17. 

Despite the progress, areas of concern for Zille's office includes leadership and staffing concerns at the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS), a need for a new police station at Makhaza, backlogs in the analysis of forensic samples at the National Chemical Laboratories in Cape Town, and the monthly release of police stations’ crime statistics.

"We will continue to pursue all the available channels, including discussions with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, to ensure the successful implementation of all the recommendations."

Read more on:    helen zille  |  cape town  |  police

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