ConCourt to rule on Khayelitsha Commission

The ConCourt is expected to make a ruling that will affect the future of the Khayelitsha Commission.

The ConCourt is expected to make a ruling that will affect the future of the Khayelitsha Commission.

CAPE TOWN - The Constitutional Court will today hand down judgment in a case that will decide the future of the Commission of Inquiry into police inefficiencies in Khayelitsha.

The commission was established by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in August last year to investigate allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in the relationship between police and residents.

The decision to appoint the commission followed an outcry from non-government organisations about the increase in vigilante killings in Khayelitsha.

But from the get-go, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has been trying to get an interdict against the commission.

Since its establishment, the commission has been collecting statements from residents in the township to use as evidence in public hearings.

But before the hearings could get underway last year, Mthethwa went to the Western Cape High Court in a bid to stop the commission from completing its work.

When the case was dismissed, he applied for leave to appeal in the Constitutional Court.

COURT CASE DETAILS

In the Constitutional Court, Mthethwa's lawyers asked for direct access to challenge the lawfulness and constitutionality of Zille's appointment of the commission.

They argued that chapter three of the Constitution required the Premier to engage in further consultation with relevant organs of state prior to the establishment of a commission.

Mthethwa's team said she was not entitled to appoint a commission with coercive powers over members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

They said the terms of reference of the commission were too vague.

But Zille contends that she repeatedly sought the views of the applicants without any meaningful input or objection.