SJC members march through Khayelitsha in October 2012 to demand improved policing.
In August 2012 the O’Regan/Pikoli Commission of Inquiry was established to investigate allegations of ineffective policing and breakdown in relations between the police and the community in Khayelitsha. Its establishment followed sustained campaigning and advocacy by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and partner organisation over a number of years and the lodging of a formal complaint against Khayelitsha’s police and criminal justice system in November 2011.
On Monday 12 November – the same day the Commission’s public hearings were due to start – the Cape High Court will hear an urgent application brought by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for an interdict to prevent the Commission of Inquiry from proceeding. Minister Mthethwa has claimed that the Commission is politically motivated, and has denied a link between vigilantism and the breakdown in relations with police. This is despite a SAPS report contained in the interdict application which found that 78 people in Khayelitsha have been killed in vigilante attacks in the past year alone. The SJC believes that this desperate situation will worsen each day the Commission is delayed, and will be opposing the application in court.
Should the Commission be delayed, the SJC will hold a People’s Commission of Inquiry into Crime in Khayelitsha outside the court immediately after the interdict hearing (which is due to start at 10h00) to give residents an opportunity to share their experiences of crime in Khayelitsha. We encourage anyone who wishes to testify to come forward.
For more information please contact Axolile Notywala on 0742895220.