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Khayelitsha report gets positive response

The Commission has confirmed ineffective policing and a breakdown in relations between Saps and residents.

FILE: Commissioners Kate O'Regan and Vusi Pikoli speaking to Brigadier Dladla in Khayelitsha on 24 January 2014. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Civil society groups and activists have welcomed the release of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry's findings which provide guidelines to improve policing in the township.

The commission has confirmed both ineffective policing and a breakdown in relations between the South African Police Services (Saps) and residents.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille established the body two years ago following a spike in vigilante killings.

Zille says the Commission has made practical and implementable recommendations to improve policing.

She says every community will benefit from the report.

"The commissioners have identified two key tasks for the provincial government that we need to establish a multi-sectorial task team to address the problems of youth gangs in Khayelitsha."

CIVIL SOCIETY

The Social Justice Coalition's Axolile Notywala says civil society will work with police to implement the commission's recommendations.

"We will make sure that we start a working relationship with the police of Khayelitsha."

Activist Zackie Achmat says he would have liked the commission to also have made findings against the City of Cape Town and the provincial government.

But this wasn't possible because of the commissioners' limited mandate.

"This can't be addressed without addressing safe toilets, safe streets and in the end that is not the job of the police."

Members of civil society groups and activists celebrated the report's release by dancing with the document in hand.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Khayelitsha Cluster Commander, Johan Brand says Saps has been given a practical set of recommendations to improve policing and services to residents in the township.

He says the almost two dozen key recommendations are doable.

These include a strategic review of detective services as well as the urgent deployment of at least 10 experienced detectives to the Harare and Site B police stations.

Brand says implementation requires a multi-faceted approach.

"We have already started planning the multi-faceted approach because from the preliminary report after the commission you could sense that there should the recommendations."

He says they will look to implement within three months.

"Definitely, police, the community of Khayelitsha, police forums and NGOs can do this very easily."

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