Police Resources court case resumes 14 & 15 February in Equality Court

On 14 and 15 February 2018 the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Equal Education (EE) and the Nyanga Community Police Forum (Nyanga CPF), the applicants, will be back in the Equality Court in Cape Town in our case against the Minister of Police and the National Police Commissioner.

At the heart of the matter is the argument that the national allocation of 194 605 police personnel across 9 provinces to 1144 police precincts discriminates against poor black communities.

In the Diepsloot police precinct 66% of all dwellings are either freestanding shacks or shacks in backyards. In the Rosebank police precinct, by comparison, only 0,2% of dwellings are informal. In Diepsloot 93% of households earn an annual income below R76 400. In Rosebank only 39% of households do.

Diepsloot has 12 times less police personnel per 100 000 people but has 15 times more murders per 100 000 people (over 4 years) than Rosebank.

he informal, poor and predominantly black households that make up the Diepsloot police precincts, despite having extreme levels of violent crime, receive fewer police resources than the formal, wealthy and predominantly white households in the Rosebank police precinct. The discrimination in this comparison is clear. It is clear in countless comparisons across the country and it is this discrimination that the applicants hope this court case will remedy.

14 and 15 February will be the fourth and fifth day of arguments in this case, which illustrates the complexity and far reaching implications of the court order sought by the applicants.

Previously on 28, 29 and 30 November 2017 the applicants made their case.  Counsel for SAPS responded.

We argued that the current national system of allocating police personnel be declared discriminatory on the basis of race and poverty, and for the court to oversee the overhaul of the system by the South African Police Service (SAPS) as one of the prescripts of a structural interdict. Additionally,  we showed why poverty should be placed alongside citizenship and HIV status as additional listed grounds for non-discrimination.

SAPS claimed that all crime matters and the indefensible assertion that police should treat the theft of a handbag and the murder of a child in the same way.Counsel for SAPS  argued that provincial police commissioners have the ability to reallocate resources as needed and that this ability ensures responsiveness to the needs of communities. This argument failed to acknowledge that the system being challenged by the applicants determines how resources are allocated between the nine provinces and not just within the provinces.

On the final two days of court appearances counsel for SAPS are set to wrap up their arguments.Counsel for the applicants will then have an opportunity to respond.

Having filed papers in this matter just under two years ago on 31 March 2016, the Social Justice Coalition, Equal Education and the Nyanga Community Police Forum are ready to respond to the arguments of the respondents and to reiterate the merits of our case in the Equality Court.

SJC activists will picket outside the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday 14 February from 9am until noon.

 

[ENDS]

 

For comment:

 

Mandisa Dyantyi - 076 654 8466

Deputy General Secretary

Social Justice Coalition

 

Dalli Weyers - 082 460 2093

Co-head of Programmes

Social Justice Coalition

 

Ntuthuzo Ndzomo - 072 931 4343

Deputy General Secretary

Equal Education


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