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Gang truces discussed at Khayelitsha Inquiry

The commission heard that police in Khayelitsha can play an effective role in negotiating peace between gangs.

FILE: The Khayelitsha Commission heard that police in Khayelitsha can play an effective role in negotiating peace between gangs. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday heard that police can play an important role in negotiating truces between gangs.

The commission is looking into allegations of police inefficiency in the area and an alleged breakdown in relations between the community and Khayelitsha police.

The commission previously heard that police struggle to effectively deal with gang violence in the area.

University of Cape Town (UCT) researcher Catherine Ward has studied youth gangs and says truces have proven successful in some areas, such as Hanover Park.

She believes police need to think more creatively to deal with gangs and associated violence.

But Ward also told the commission is was not just the police's responsibility and has recommended a multidisciplinary task team to tackle gangsterism.

Meanwhile, crime expert and former South African Police Service (SAPS) member Chris de Kock testified that police in Khayelitsha have not been gathering sufficient crime intelligence.

He said that instead they relied on what he called policing by chance and luck.

The commission says it's expected to hand over its final report to the Western Cape premier in mid-July.

Commission secretary Amanda Dissel says, "There's a final date appearing on 29 May and on that occasion the legal parties are going to be invited to make arguments to the commission and then finally, the commission is required to submit a report to the premier on 11 July."