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Lack of resources for Khayelitsha police is ‘irrational’

The allocation of resources to police stations in Khayelitsha is unfair and irrational, the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry heard on Monday.

“The under-resourcing 20 years after apartheid is still unconscionable and irrational,” University of the Western Cape Community Law Centre researcher Jean Redpath testified in Cape Town. 

Redpath calculated that Khayelitsha police needed an additional 252 officers, while the local police station needed an extra 129 police officials to make the resource allocation fairer. The figures were calculated looking at the population each station is serving, the incidents of crime, and the actual crime rate. 

“I cannot dispute the fact that the lack of resources is a huge factor in affecting the performance of police in these areas,” Redpath said. In comparison, stations like Camps Bay and Sea Point, in privileged areas, were better resourced. 

Mob killings
Redpath suggested resources be taken from these stations and distributed to less-resourced stations. “The fact that Harare [settlement] has 111 [police officers] per 100 000 people and Camps Bay has 959. Is it fair? No, it’s not,” Redpath said. 

“It’s something urgent that needs to be addressed.” Redpath was testifying in phase two of the commission, set up to investigate alleged police inefficiency in Khayelitsha. The commission, chaired by Justice Kate O’Regan, started sitting in January. 

The commission was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille after nongovernmental organisation the Social Justice Coalition complained that police inefficiency was the reason for mob killings becoming more prevalent in the area. – Sapa

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