Khayelitsha inquiry interdict hearing set down

Ministerial spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said in a text message: "The interdict argument is now set for December 13, thereafter they will deal with the substantive matters in relation to the commission."

Lawyers acting for Mthethwa, national police commissioner Riya Phiyega, Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer, and others, met provincial government lawyers on Monday morning in Judge President John Hlophe's chambers, in the Western Cape High Court.

Last week, Mthethwa and the other applicants filed papers in the High Court to have the commission temporarily suspended, pending a review of the decision to establish it.

Provincial premier Helen Zille set up the commission in August to probe allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. She said the commission was necessary because there was a breakdown of trust between Khayelitsha residents and the police.

Headed by retired judge Catherine O'Regan and advocate Vusi Pikoli, the commission had been due to begin public hearings on November 12 and continue until December 14. A full report was due on February 24, 2013.

The commission has since been suspended pending the outcome of the court hearings.

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC), which led the call to establish the commission, is applying to be included as a respondent in Mthethwa's application.

SJC members gathered in front of the court on Monday and held the "People's commission of Inquiry into crime in Khayelitsha".

A wooden table was set up on Leeuwen Road, where two "judges" sat in front of a seated crowd of about 50 people.

SJC founder Zackie Achmat used a loudspeaker to address the crowd of mostly women and children, calling up witnesses to explain their policing experience in the area.

Cars had to drive around the seats and curious bystanders. – Sapa

Jenna Etheridge
Jenna Etheridge
Journalist, writer and editor
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