JOINT PRESS RELEASE: SOCIAL JUSTICE COALITION, TREATMENT ACTION CAMPAIGN, NDIFUNA UKWAZI & EQUAL EDUCATION

JOIN OUR MARCH TO CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF THE O’REGAN/PIKOLI REPORT INTO POLICING IN KHAYELITSHA

ORGANISATIONS CALL FOR COMMITMENT FROM GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THE REPORT’S RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE SAFETY

BACKGROUND

The report found that there are serious inefficiencies in the way that the SAPS operate in Khayelitsha. It further concluded that there has been a breakdown between the police and the community although it noted that this relationship can be fixed.

The evidence before the Commission showed that the inefficiencies and the breakdown have contributed greatly to a lack of safety, security and justice for residents of Khayelitsha. We are in the process of studying the report – its findings, its recommendations – and developing strategies to work with and assist the police to see that positive action is taken as quickly as possible.

JOIN THE MARCH

While the Commission’s focus was on the SAPS, in recognition of the fact that the police alone cannot provide or create safety, the report’s recommendations call for the involvement of many other key roleplayers including the City of Cape Town, provincial Departments of Community Safety, Education, Social Welfare and the National Prosecuting Authority.

In our original complaint made in 2011 that led to the establishment of the Commission our organisations stressed the need for this approach. All roleplayers – communities, government, civil society – must be proactive and cooperate with each other to ensure that the full potential of the Commission is realised.

To celebrate this victory for safety and justice and to call for a commitment from government to this process tomorrow we will be marching through Cape Town’s CBD and delivering memoranda and copies of report to representatives from the:

City of Cape Town

Western Cape Provincial Government

Portfolio Committee on Policing (tbc)

DETAILS:

Date:     4 September 2014

Time:    March will begin to assemble at 9h00

Start:    Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) parking lot, corner of Keizersgracht and Tennant

Route:  The march will head to national Parliament and arrive by 11h00. The march will then continue to its final destination at the Western Cape Provincial Legislature by 12h15

A FORWARD LOOKING, SAFETY & PEOPLE ORIENTED APPROACH

The Commission has been criticised from the outset and following the release of the report it has come under attack again, being referred to as a politically motivated one-sided process aimed to discredit the SAPS. The claim has been made that the Commission’ R13m cost was a waste of money and that it uncovered nothing that was not known before, and that it failed to provide a plan to address crime.

These claims are unfounded and distort the truth. The Commission had a specific mandate – to investigate allegations against the SAPS. Its findings unpacked a range of issues that we now understand more fully and recommendations that provide new opportunities. Its findings related to the allocation of resources not just in Khayelitsha but across the country have national implications.

At the official release of the report on 25 August, its authors, Justice Kate O’Regan and Advocate Vusi Pikoli, stressed that those who engaged with the report should keep in mind that its purpose is singular – to improve safety for all people. Political opportunism has no place when it comes to safety. We call on everyone to embrace this process, to commit to working together and to ensure that individual or party politics are not an obstacle. A failure to do so in light of the evidence is unconscionable.

Please join us tomorrow!

[ENDS]

For more information or comment please contact:

Joel Bregman (SJC)

072 769 0100


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