SUPPORT THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INVESTIGATING PROBLEMS WITH POLICING IN KHAYELITSHA!
SJC ORGANISES FOUR MARCHES IN ONE DAY FOR IMPROVED POLICING IN KHAYELITSHA & FOR INCLUSION OF CAPE TOWN’S POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
JOIN US IN KHAYELITSHA, 6 OCTOBER 2012, 10h00 – 12h00
In August 2012 the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate problems with policing in Khayelitsha was established in terms of section 206(5) of the Constitution. This followed years of sustained campaigning by the SJC and partner organisations including the Treatment Action Campaign, Equal Education, Ndifuna Ukwazi and Triangle Project. This is the first time that a community has won the right for this section of the Constitution to be invoked.
The purpose of the CoI is to investigate allegations of a breakdown in relations between the police and the Khayelitsha community as well as ineffective policing in the area – and provide recommendations to improve the situation. Its commissioners are Justice Kate O’Regan and Adv. Vusi Pikoli and over the next 6 months it will hear evidence from community members and experts before submitting its report.
Having lived and worked in Khayelitsha members of our organisations have experienced the continued failures of the police and the greater criminal justice system to protect from harm, investigate crime and facilitate justice. We maintain that serious intervention is needed to address these deep and systemic failures. Despite steady decreases in murders nationally and provincially over the past years, Khayelitsha has experienced a 27% increase in the number of murders since 2008/09. In Khayelitsha this year at least 16 people have been killed in mob justice murders – a clear indication of the broken relationship between the community and police.
The terms of reference of the CoI focus exclusively on the South African Police Service (SAPS) and exclude an integral part of the policing and safety apparatus responsible for Khayelitsha – the City of Cape Town’s Metropolitan Police Department and other units falling under the City’s Safety & Security Directorate including Traffic Services, Law Enforcement and specialised units such as the Anti-Land Invasion Unit.
The inclusion of the City’s police and law enforcement agencies is crucial. We have evidence showing that the City’s agencies have contravened the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act – PIE – during evictions and demolitions of homes in the area. This has contributed to a breakdown in relations between the community and the police. Cape Town police and law enforcement agencies also form an integral part of the safety apparatus responsible for Khayelitsha especially with regard to visible policing and crime prevention and we maintain that they are failing the community.
The purpose of the CoI is not to lay blame – it is to establish what is currently going wrong and develop plans to improve, see where resources need to be allocated and how agencies can best work together. The CoI will be able to carry out its mandate in the most effective manner only if it has all the appropriate information at its disposal. It is logical that this requires participation from everyone involved in the provision of safety and justice. Those working in this sector should welcome the CoI. Not only will it be the appropriate vehicle to address the concerns of many residents of Khayelitsha, it will allow those working in this sector to conduct their jobs in a more effective and coordinated fashion, thereby improving levels of safety and justice.
In addition to our call for the Cape Town police and law enforcement agencies to come forward and willingly participate, we have also requested the Premier to extend the terms of reference to formally include them. We are also continuing to advocate for the involvement of government departments and bodies including the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the National Prosecuting Authority.
This Saturday, 6 October 2012, the SJC and partner organisations will be holding a series of public processions in Khayelitsha – to spread awareness about the CoI and to deliver a memorandum to representatives from the offices of the Premier of the Western Cape and the Mayor of Cape Town. The handover will take place at the Site B march and the memorandum will call for voluntary participation from the City’s police and law enforcement agencies. There will be 4 concurrent marches and awareness drives beginning at 10h00 and finishing at 12h00. Here are the routes and spokespersons:
Site B March:
Start: OR Tambo Hall/End: Site B Community Hall
Contact: Luthando Tokota (0796776886) & Thandokazi Njamela (0713166311)
Start: False Bay College/End: Ndlovini Community Hall
Contact: Sylvia Lephema (0786734366)
Site C March:
Start: Shopping centre on corner of Lansdowne Rd and Maphongwana Ave/End: Vuselela Primary School
Contact: Vuyani Mpanjukelwa (0728220265) & Nontembeko Nduna (0835634846)
Start: Ntlazane Road (near intersection of Lindela)/End: Chris Hani Station
Contact: Msingathi Luzipho (0738953815) & Malwande Msongelwa (0786734336)
For media inquiries please contact Joel Bregman on 0727690100.
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND MEDIA ARE URGED TO ATTEND AND SUPPORT!