Lwandle police submission postponed

Cape Town - The inquiry investigating the Lwandle evictions in Cape Town was forced to adjourn early on Friday after the SA Police Service failed to provide evidence timeously.

Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi, instructed by the State attorney on behalf of the SAPS, had given the inquiry a short summary of how they enforced public order during the removals on 2 June and 3 June.

She had also handed over 19 CDs of video footage of those days and of previous evictions on the land in February, and a 20-minute video presentation.

However, inquiry chairperson Denzil Potgieter was less than pleased that the footage was being handed over at a late stage.

He said the inquiry had been in contact with the police for some time to obtain the footage so there would be "meaningful interaction" when they made their submission.

"From what I understand, the secretariat was given the run around in this regard with the result that we have not set sight on the footage at all as we are sitting here.

"Practically, it means we are unable to proceed in the circumstances and the next available date to continue with the presentation of the police would be on 26 August 2014."

The inquiry was set up by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to probe the circumstances of removals of people and structures from the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) road reserve.

Court interdict

Mayosi said the Sheriff of the High Court had approached the public order policing (Pop) unit to help enforce and carry out an urgent court interdict granted to Sanral in January to keep people off the road reserve.

Mayosi attended the inquiry with the operational commander for 2 June Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Lucas and two officers who had taken the video footage.

Potgieter said there were other outstanding issues that forced an adjournment.

The first was that the operational commander on the scene for 3 June, Captain Andre de Graaff, had not appeared at the inquiry or submitted an affidavit.

De Graaff would only be back from leave next week. Mayosi said an affidavit would be taken from him then.

Potgieter also mentioned that he received Lucas's bulky affidavit with annexures late on Thursday afternoon and it had been impossible to read it in such a short time.

Part of this affidavit was based on documentation still in police possession.

Mayosi assured Potgieter that he would receive these documents early next week.

Sisulu recently extended the inquiry's term to 30 September because it had received numerous written submissions and requests to participate in hearings.

In a reply to a parliamentary question in June, Sisulu said commission members would be paid according to an appropriate tariff of fees determined by the National Treasury.

This meant members were paid around R2 000 a day.

She said Potgieter, an advocate, was being paid a daily rate applicable for members of the Cape Bar.