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Khayelitsha: Murder rate keeps cops busy

Police in Khayelitsha say they deal with an average of four murders over a weekend.

Khayelitsha Police Station. Picture: Rafiq Wagiet/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Khayelitsha police say they deal with an average of four murders every weekend.

A station commander in the area on Monday testified at the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate alleged police inefficiencies, a breakdown in the relationship between police and the community and the scourge of vigilante killings in the township.

The commission was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille in 2012.

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

Zithulele Ndladla says his officers have their hands full.

He told the commission he is very worried about the high crime rate in Khayelitsha, even though the average of four murders a weekend is lower than it was in the past.

Ndladla says they are focusing their crime reduction efforts on several hotspots, which have been identified as problematic.

POLICE COMPETENCY QUESTIONED

The commission on Monday scrutinised the competency of detectives working in the area.

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.