Mthethwa files court papers challenging Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretoria - The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, on Tuesday officially filed court papers at the Cape High Court challenging the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry by Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille.

The Commission of Inquiry has been set up to look into allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

The minister wants the commission to be set aside while appropriate platforms are followed to address the challenges of crime in Khayelitsha.

The Police Ministry in a statement said the matter will be heard at the Cape High Court on Monday.

"As part of the court papers, the ministry's legal team will also challenge the Commission's subpoenas which have been served to some of the South African Police Service (SAPS) members to have them withdrawn. Some of the members who have been served with such subpoenas include the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer as well as various police station commanders from Khayelitsha," explained the ministry.

Last week, the ministry said Mthethwa's decision to challenge the establishment of the commission followed a protracted process initiated by him in the spirit of goodwill and inter-governmental cooperation, including one-on-one discussions with the premier.

During their meeting and in exchanges of correspondence, the minister outlined substantive reasons he believed the establishment of such a commission was a premature approach in addressing the challenges of crime in Khayelitsha.

At the time he said: "I have indicated during my engagements with Premier Zille, substantiated my reasons and proposed an approach around the challenges of crime in Khayelitsha. I have further emphatically stated that we do not question her powers to set up such a commission. However, we remain convinced that there were various avenues where the issue could have been raised, but never was."

The rationale behind the setting up of such a commission, which at a strategic level only focused on SAPS and not the Western Cape Metro Police, was suspicious if not questionable, he added.

The minister said that despite the engagements Zille was determined to continue with the commission ... which left him with no option but to challenge the matter through the legal framework. -