Zille defends Khayelitsha inquiry
Premier Helen Zille says she was under pressure act following an increase in mob violence incidents.
CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's lawyer on Thursday told the Western Cape High Court that she was under increasing pressure to do something about the rise in vigilante killings in Khayelitsha.
The lawyer defended the premier's decision to establish a commission of inquiry into police inefficiencies in the township.
The inquiry was set up in August following an increase in the number of mob justice incidents.
Over 20 people have been necklaced in Khayelitsha in recent months as people say they have lost faith in the police.
However, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has taken Zille to court to stop the commission from going ahead.
Zille's lawyer Sean Rosenberg said she was under pressure from non-governmental organisations to do something about the problems in Khayelitsha.
He said the premier's initial letters to the national Police Ministry were met with silence.
Mthethwa then asked for more time to deal with the complaints.
In August, Zille established the inquiry believing that the rise in vigilante killings needed urgent attention.
Earlier, Mthethwa's lawyer Norman Arendse tried to convince the court that the commission was unlawful.
Through his lawyer, Mthethwa said the complaints show a breakdown in the criminal justice system as a whole, yet only the police were singled out by the commission.
Those who support the commission demonstrated outside the court.
The protest was organised by several non-governmental organisations.