SAPS failures – Minister Plato supports Major-General Goss’ search for justice
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
I support Major-General Greg Goss’ search for justice since 2014 in the murder case of his son, Greg Goss Junior.
From the documentation and news reports which I have seen, it would appear that systemic problems within certain parts of the South African Police Service and the criminal justice system led to an acquittal in December 2015 of the two murder accused.
Maj Gen Goss’ revelations points to sloppy investigative work, questions arising about the availability and effectiveness of the witness protection programme and poor criminal justice system decisions to go to court with cases which are not yet ready for trial. This ultimately means that those responsible, in this case for murder, are not removed from communities and can continue their reign of terror.
I support Maj Gen Goss in asking the difficult questions from his peers. I also welcome the new Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Jula’s, commitment to eliminate corruption within the ranks and construct prosecution-ready criminal case dockets. This will assist the SAPS in the Western Cape to reach a level of professionalism which is beyond reproach.
It is unacceptable that poor policing service delivery is apparently still failing our communities. It is even more saddening that a senior ranking police officer’s loss has to be the catalyst to ensure that no other family suffers the same fate in the province.
With a conviction rate of less than 3% for gang related murder cases in the Province, Maj Gen Goss’ revelations and allegations cannot be dismissed without investigation and corrective action.
I will be writing to the Provincial Police Commissioner as well as the Provincial Head of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape to request that, in the interest of policing oversight and to prevent a further breakdown between the police and communities, they brief me as a matter of urgency about the apparent litany of errors which has occurred and how these will be rectified.
The Department of Community Safety’s Court Watching Briefs, a first in the country, also aims to eliminate the systemic problems which have seen cases being unnecessarily scrapped from the roll. The Watching Briefs constantly serve to improve the level of safety service delivery being provided by the SAPS and law enforcement in the province. I’ll be asking the Watching Briefs team to investigate the allegations as it pertains to their oversight function and assist Maj Gen Goss where possible.
The Watching Brief’s expansion to 25 courts in the province can hopefully assist in identifying and eliminating similar mistakes going forward. Though no action would ever bring back Maj Gen Goss’ son, we remain steadfast in trying to ensure that no other systemic injustice sees murderers walking free.
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