JP Smith slams Cape Town police, says suspects were released without appearing in court

2019-03-29 17:26
JP Smith. (Peter Abrahams, Netwerk24)

JP Smith. (Peter Abrahams, Netwerk24)

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The City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, has slammed police for their handling of two cases in which suspects were allegedly released without appearing in court. 

Smith revealed on Wednesday that the Safety and Security Investigations Unit (SSIU) briefed him on the two cases which were handled at the Philippi police station.

The first involved a 29-year-old man who was wounded during a shootout with metro police officers in Hanover Park earlier this month. The second involved a suspect who had allegedly been found in possession of 118 tik straws and 40 units of heroin during a search of a property in the same area.

"These incidents demonstrate a flagrant disregard for public safety, but also negate the good work being done by the City's metro police department and other City enforcement services," said Smith.


The incidents, according to Smith, "amount to negligence by the police station in question".

At the time, he said he would write to Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula to call for the Philippi police station, where the alleged suspects were held, to be investigated.

"The City will continue its representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions to have these cases re-enrolled. We are also considering approaching the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the Western Cape police ombudsman about the conduct of the SAPS (SA Police Service)."

Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said they would deal with the matter once the provincial commissioner's office received a letter from Smith. She would not be able to comment until then.

Second look

Potelwa also added that the provincial police's top brass structures would look at the manner in which the cases were handled.

Smith said there were sufficient grounds to warrant a second look at the cases, and added: "I suspect others too. We cannot allow members of the public to continue bearing the brunt of criminals for whom police custody is nothing more than a revolving door".

"Three weeks hence, there is no indication that anything has been done to remedy the situation that is entirely of SAPS's making," Smith further charged.

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town

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