Premier Zille Welcomes Constitutional Court Ruling
1 October 2013
We welcome the ruling of the Constitutional Court dismissing Minister Mthethwa’s application against the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry. The court’s judgment affirms the role of the Western Cape Government in conducting policing oversight, according to Section 206 of the Constitution, which I exercised through the appointment of the commission of inquiry.
Last August I established the commission to investigate allegations of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in the area.
My decision to establish this authority was not taken lightly. It followed a request to establish a commission from a group of civil society organisations, represented by the Women's Legal Centre, in November 2011.
This request was prompted by the spate of vigilante killings in the area allegedly because people had lost faith in the ability of the police to bring criminals to justice.
We had a protracted nine months of communication between me, the stakeholders and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Eventually, on the basis of legal advice, I established the commission.
The primary purpose of the commission was to make recommendations to the cabinet on how to improve policing in the area. With this goal still in mind, we welcome today’s ruling which means that the commission can now continue with its work.
We remain committed to working with both the commission and the SAPS in order to increase safety in all our communities and, now that we have clarity on this aspect, trust that the commission can move forward in fulfilling its mandate with the full co-operation of the police.