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'Police minister must cooperate or resign'

The SJC says Nathi Mthethwa must assist the Khayelitsha Commission or resign.

Khayelitsha Police Station.

CAPE TOWN - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has called on the Police Minister to cooperate with the O'Regan Commission - or resign.

The O'Regan Commission is led by former Constitutional Court judge Kate O'Regan and former National Director of Public Prosecutions boss Vusi Pikoli. It is investigating complaints of police inefficiencies Khayelitsha.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille established the commission in August.

However, the Police Ministry will file papers in the Western Cape High Court on Monday morning a bid to suspend the commission.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa wrote to the commission asking it to halt proceedings, so police could have time to conduct internal investigations.

Doubt was cast on the request questioning the independence of the probe.

The papers contain damning reports from a South African Police Service (SAPS) task team's investigation into Khayelitsha's police stations.

The SJC's Zackie Achmat, who recently leaked the report to the media, explained some of the findings.

"The report shows horror upon horror and incompetence. For instance, almost every single policeman in almost each of the police stations has been disciplined at one point or another," said Achmat.

The report also showed 78 mob justice murders recorded at the stations between April 2011 and June this year.

Achmat, who wants heads to roll, said it also highlighted that little was done to tackle serious crimes like armed robberies.

"The national minister and the former national minister have not done their job and I would appeal to the national minister to fully cooperate with the commission of inquiry or resign. Western Cape [Community Safety] MEC Dan Plato has also not done his job."

Plato shrugged off Achmat's calls for him to step down.

The MEC said: "Remember one thing, I have no control or authority over SAPS, I cannot give them instruction - that is in accordance with the constitution. If I had the necessary authority over them, one could have acted in many ways."

Both the provincial police commissioner and Mthethwa's office refused to comment.

The commission's evidence leader, Nazreen Bawa, said they will continue as normal, for now.