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Inquiry presents damning report on Khayelitsha policing

By: News24 and Sapa 2014-08-25 14:55

Cape Town - The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry on Monday presented its findings into policing in the area.

Speaking at a news conference, Advocate Vusi Pikoli said the commission had identified 11 inefficient policing behaviours in the area.

The commissioners, former Constitutional Court justice Kate O'Regan and Pikoli, presented the 580-page report with recommendations to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and community safety MEC Dan Plato in Khayelitsha.

Patrols

The inquiry found police did not appear to conduct regular patrols of informal neighbourhoods and answer telephones regularly at the three police stations in the area.

Policing at the stations did not appear to be intelligence-based, largely because personnel did not have sufficient training.

The evidence overwhelmingly suggested the quality of detective work was very poor.

"Many cases are simply not investigated properly or at all. This does not mean that no cases are investigated properly, but the proportion of cases reported to Khayelitsha that result in convictions is tiny, possibly as few as 1%," the inquiry's handover statement read.

Resident-to-police ratio

One of the reasons for this is that the area has one of the highest resident-to-police ratios in the Western Cape.

He pointed out that some detectives in the area were investigating more than 200 case dockets.

The commission found that there was a breakdown in the relationship between Khayelitsha residents and local police and a significant level of distrust.

Mob killings

Zille set up the commission after the Social Justice Commission complained that police inefficiency was the reason mob killings were becoming more prevalent in the area.

Pikoli recalled a witness testimony, quoting: “When you attack a criminal, people will cheer as if your football team has scored a goal."

The commission has handed its findings to Zille. It had received and perused thousands of police documents, including around 500 dockets, Sapa reports.

It had also received more than 200 affidavits from residents and people affected by policing in the area, and over 50 reports by experts.

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