News24

Police to challenge Cape commission

2012-10-31 22:18

Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has vowed to challenge a commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

He said on Wednesday papers to this end would be filed at the Western Cape High Court.

The minister said that despite numerous and protracted interactions with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, she had set up the commission and limited its scope.

"The rationale behind the setting up of such a commission; which at a strategic level only focuses on the SA Police Service (SAPS) and not the Western Cape metro police, is suspicious, if not questionable.

"It is evident that she is determined to continue with the commission by hook or crook, which leaves us with no option but to challenge the matter, through the legal framework."

The papers were expected to be filed by Friday.

Earlier in August, Zille appointed a commission of inquiry, headed by retired judge Catherine O'Regan and advocate Vusi Pikoli, citing a breakdown of trust between Khayelitsha residents and the police.

It planned to hold public hearings between 12 November and 14 December, and submit a full report by 24 February next year.

Mthethwa said he had outlined substantive reasons to Zille as to why the establishment of the commission was premature.

Holistic view

His spokesperson Zweli Mnisi elaborated that a holistic view had to be taken when looking at crime and crime-fighting in communities. One had to look beyond the police towards the criminal justice system and unique social challenges.

"It's a value chain," Mnisi said.

"For one, there is a lack of understanding of the criminal justice system. Police are often accused of giving suspects free bail when they don't even deal with these issues."

The community's response to criminals was crucial.

In some cases, they phoned the media before police. In other cases, they chose not to report known criminals for their own reasons.

When looking at how the police responded to crime, there was a "mixed bag" of situations, factors and challenges, Mnisi said.

The minister's approach was to continuously evaluate and improve stations and officers.

"When it comes to training, nobody can stand on a rooftop and say I'm an expert," Mnisi said.

The commission said on Wednesday it had to decided to forge ahead with its work despite threats of legal action.

On Tuesday, it served subpoenas on provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer and the station commanders of Khayelitsha, Lingelethu and Harare police stations.

A subpoena was also issued last Friday on Lamla Tyhalisisu, the acting provincial head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

He accepted the subpoena on behalf of head Thabo Leholo, who was out of the office at the time.

According to evidence leader advocate Nazreen Bawa, the subpoenas requested the police to be present and give evidence on 12 November, and produce specified books, documents or objects in their possession or under their control.

"These include details of staff working at the three police stations between the period 1 January 2010 to 31 August  2012; documents reflecting complaints lodged and received from the IPID and its predecessor, the Independent Complaints Directorate; minutes and documents relating to community police forums; crime statistics; information relating to dockets under the investigation of the police; as well as information relating to the investigation of vigilante violence and killings in Khayelitsha."

Zille's spokesperson Zak Mbhele said the premier would not comment on the matter until an interdict had been served, referring all queries to the commission.

Comments
  • berni.venter - 2012-10-31 22:51

    I don't understand the Ministers spokesman's comment about standing on a rooftop and being an expert?

      Erna - 2012-10-31 23:55

      Neither does he!

      Nigel - 2012-11-01 07:16

      Smile and Wave

  • RudiErnst - 2012-10-31 23:20

    Can the various government apologists out there please give me a single logical reason why this commission is problematic? For the record, I am not vaguely in favour of commissions of inquiry, but look forward to hearing why this particular commission is so out of favour...

      phillie.jansenvanvuuren - 2012-11-01 00:16

      I think you should read the article again He is not blocking the inquiry he is questioning the framework:"The rationale behind the setting up of such a commission; which at a strategic level only focuses on the SA Police Service (SAPS) and not the Western Cape metro police, is suspicious, if not questionable.

      infijar.ken - 2012-11-01 16:47

      @phillie, I thought the purpose of this inquiry was to address problems with the Policing of the "Townships" not the CBD!

  • SharonE - 2012-10-31 23:23

    Why block the inquiry if everything is pucker-pucker? Wouldn't it be nice to prove the DA wrong for a change? On the other hand, if the DA is right, wouldn't that bring to light the total collapse of the police force, considering that 27 400 police officers can't hit an elephant at ten feet with their firearms?

  • tebogo.maja.77 - 2012-10-31 23:37

    "His spokesperson Zweli Mnisi elaborated that a holistic view had to be taken when looking at crime and crime-fighting in communities. One had to look beyond the police towards the criminal justice system and unique social challenges." So we shouldn't evaluate the police?. "In some cases, they phoned the media before police. In other cases, they chose not to report known criminals for their own reasons." Either Mthethwa and Mnisi are uninformed or plain dum*. The reason people now choose to report to the media, is its effectiveness. A person reports to the police and becomes a target. How many criminals have the cops arrested and released?. Only for the criminals to come and terrorise the neighborhood?. The SAPS is inefficient, this commission can only be helpful in discovering what can be done to improve, whats been hindering progress, if there ever was. "When looking at how the police responded to crime, there was a "mixed bag" of situations, factors and challenges" Factors like what?, were there not enough people, no vehicle's, police sleeping on the job? what?.

      Erna - 2012-10-31 23:52

      And that's exactly the questions that may be answered through the commission. Apparently its only the anc that is allowed to set up a commission of enquiry. Or maybe the minister is scared that they may end up looking even worse than they do now - if that is possible.

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-11-01 01:35

    The Police Minister may as well challenge the coming up of the sun, the incompetence, corruption and indiscipline are going to be there - and I bet the communities will attest to the DA Western Cape Premier's probe with glee!

  • richard.t.holman - 2012-11-01 02:47

    Lets presume everything is running perfectly. Then all the commission will do is find area's where improvements can be made and allow for the whole system to function more effectively. We know this isn't the case but it's working with a theory of innocent until proven otherwise.

  • rupert.beukes.1 - 2012-11-01 05:30

    a case of "the lady doth protest to much" if you ask me!!!The bottom line is the police is rotten and corrupt to the core...

  • lizwi.makala - 2012-11-01 05:32

    k/litsha eSITE B.

      sanda.mnyazi - 2012-11-01 09:50

      Most dangerous place in Khayelitsha

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-11-01 05:44

    you dunb ass Mtetr once your armani suits life wont you work with the DA and see if the pubclic out there will get to trust you and the people you employ in Khayalitsha ,its not a situation of us against the but what i as a PUBLIC SERVANT can do for the public that pays my salary o dumb one

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-11-01 06:36

      If Its Dirty clean it. Nobody takes notice of a clean operation.

      monique.lovelock - 2012-11-01 06:45

      Just remember Public servants pay taxes to so inactual fact they pay their own salaries too. We are not in England where the public servants are not taxed on their salaries. They must go ahead with the inquiry. Incompetent people are appointed in high positions who do not have the experience all they have is a diploma that does not give them field experience. Corruption is rife because it s friends organising for friends to get into the service. There is no discipline, discipline them and your are accused of being sexist, racist, bully, etc. It is no longer a career just a job, where many are to affraid to go out and serve. I know the darkside and until such time as people experience it like have many have no clue what they are talking about. Just remember there are still a few good men and woman who need our support.

  • martin.brink.965 - 2012-11-01 06:31

    How about you simply employed people who chose to do their jobs properly, were able to run 3km a day and took pride in their appearance and work? We don't deserve to have fat slobs protecting us, our families and our possesions. We deserve the best... Its our money that pays for you fat cats to slink around!

      Nigel - 2012-11-01 07:22

      The police had those people with such qualities and more, but AA ended their careers. So the majority that were intelligent, super well trained with drive and ambition obviously left to seek other careers. You will find them today in top management positions because they are excellent people with very high standards, and the others you will find doing contract work in other countries.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-11-01 06:43

    How can a bunch of ex terrorists be bunched together without any training and form a police force! Of course they will be inefficient!

  • mavivi.ntshongwana - 2012-11-01 06:56

    Nathi Mthethwa is a disgrace, why cant he accept that his Department is incompetent just like his stinky as..........

  • sisie.indola - 2012-11-01 07:21

    Of course there is no inefficiency by the SAPS in Western Cape - if you were run (owned by the ANC) we would be there in a flash! But the best way you can overcome that is actually being on your toes and being the best of the best - oh wait i must be dreaming again - best of the best what a laugh!

  • JAbu.R15 - 2012-11-01 07:28

    I dont see anything wrong with the commission, the only thing wrong that mr mthethwa is fighting for is why did he not come up with the idea that's all, not that the commission itself is worng!

      Nigel - 2012-11-01 07:57

      True, and why not work with the commission and show his willingness and commitment to the public. He could have gained some credibility through doing the right thing but rather chooses to fight it????

  • kgotso.selome - 2012-11-01 09:34

    But why challenge the Cape Commission, is it because its DA, why don't Mthethwa also challenge Farlam \marikana\ Commission, since he is challenging Commissions?

  • ludlowdj - 2012-11-01 13:58

    @phillie.jansenvanvuuren Ignore the thumbs down Phillie, we obviously have at least 16 idiots who own computers, to the thumbs downers, which part of Phillie's cut and paste of the passage in its entirety that was the direct answer to MrGrumpy's question didn't you understand?

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