Police report shows something rotten in Khayelitsha

At the Khayelitsha police station 138 officers were disciplined between January and June this year, compared to 291 disciplined during the whole of 2011, City Press reported on Sunday.

In 2011, 205 officers were disciplined at the Harare police station, which had a staff complement of 195, indicating some of the officers were repeat offenders.

Seventy-six officers at the Harare police station, and 107 at Lingelethu West, were disciplined during the first six months of 2012.

A commission is investigating police inefficiency and its breakdown in relations with the community and heavyweight commissioners retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O'Regan and former National Prosecuting Authority director Vusi Pikoli – have been appointed to run proceedings.

The figures are contained in a report drawn up by a police task team appointed by national Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. The report is part of Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer's affidavit in a matter due to come before the Western Cape High Court on Monday. Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is challenging Western Cape premier Helen Zille's establishment of the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry.

Zille launched the commission in August after intense public lobbying by several activist organisations, including the Social Justice Coalition, Equal Education, the Treatment Action Campaign and the Triangle Project. Zille said at the time she had given Mthethwa and Phiyega ample opportunity to respond with their opinions.

According to the police report there had been a dramatic increase in domestic violence complaints against officers at the Khayelitsha police station. A total of 16 were recorded in the first six months of this year, compared to none during the whole of 2011.

Other findings in the report are that a "large number" of suspects are detained and released without being charged at the Khayelitsha, Harare and Lingelethu West police stations. The police in the area had "questionable" response times, due to poor record-keeping of complaints received.

A total of 78 mob justice murders were recorded at the three police stations between April 2011 and June this year. – Sapa

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