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‘Ipid slow to tackle critical cases’

The Khayelitsha hearing heard more than 200 complaints have been lodged against officers.

Commissioner Kate O'Regan and the police's lawyer Norman Arendse chatting at the Khayelitsha Police Station on 21 January 2014. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry on Monday criticised the slow pace at which serious cases are investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

The hearing's co-chairperson and retired justice Kate O'Regan said in some cases people had allegedly died at the hands of police.

The inquiry was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to investigate allegations of police inefficiency in the Cape Town township.

More than 200 complaints have been made against Khayelitsha police, including cases of alleged brutality.

Western Cape Deputy Police Commissioner Sharon Jeptha on Monday told the commission 233 complaints had been lodged at the three police stations between 2010 and 2012.

As to why some cases take so long to be finalised once handed over to Ipid, Jeptha pointed to teething problems in the systems currently in place.

The first round of the inquiry concludes on Tuesday after Western Cape Police Chief Arno Lamoer testifies.

Last week, the head of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, Colonel Sonja Harri, cried while recounting some of the violent rape cases she had to deal with.

Khayelitsha has also been plagued by several mob-justice incidents in the last few years.