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Khayelitsha: Cop competency questioned

Head of detectives Barend Swart testified at the hearing on Monday.

FILE: The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry has scrutinised the competency of detectives working in the area. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry on Monday scrutinised the competency of detectives working in the area.

Phase one of the commission, which has been tasked with investigating allegations of police inefficiency, is in its final week.

The inquiry, which was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in 2012, has been hearing testimony for the last four weeks.

Khayelitsha head of detectives Barend Swart shocked the commission by admitting he was not sure if all detectives were equipped with matric certificates.

He looked under pressure while answering pressing questions concerning both the qualification and competency levels of his staff.

Swart did however tell the hearing that matric is a minimum requirement for the job.

He says irrespective of qualifications and training, some detectives still battle with aspects of the job such as crime scene management.

SWART DEFENDS OFFICERS

Swart defended his team though saying as a seasoned detective himself, on the job training is provided to officials to help sharpen their skills, especially when it comes to investigations.

He insists he does not believe his officers contributed to the contempt the community feels towards police.

During his 10 years as a commander at Lingelethu police station, he claims he has only received three complaints.

"My responsibility is the detectives. We're doing a very good job in Khayelitsha," Swart told the hearing.

Advocate Ncumisa Mayosi then asked him if the complaints against police were unfounded.

Swart said he did not believe the problems were linked to detectives.