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Khayelitsha SAPS commission placed on hold

The Commission of Inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha has been placed on hold until further notice.

Protesters highlight the ongoing cases on mob justice in Khayelitsha. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) on Monday said it is disappointed the O'Regan Commission of Inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha has put its work on hold, perhaps only until next month.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille established the commission in August to probe the state of policing in Khayelitsha after sporadic mob killings in the area.

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 Police Ministry filed papers in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, requesting the suspension of the commission altogether.

Arguments in the Ministry's application for the interdict will be heard on 13 December.

The SJC's Zackie Achmat joined several Khayelitsha residents who protested outside court.

"We would like to see the commission go on with its work now, we are very sad that it has been delayed. These reports, themselves, show a total breakdown in relationships between the police and the community."

Khayelitsha resident Thandoklazi Njamela said she has no faith in police or the justice system.

"Last week there was a break-in at my home and I stay alone. I didn't know if I was supposed to call the police so I called my superior. By the time anyone has arrived, the thieves had already left."

Last week the SJC called on the police commissioner to either cooperate with the commission or resigns altogether.

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 inefficiency in Khayelitsha.