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Moerane Commission: SAPS, Ipid yet to respond to graft claims

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Police has urged both the SAPS and Ipid to respond to allegations that corrupt officials who commit assaults are not held to account.

The Moerane Commission of Inquiry is investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Ziyanda Ncgobo/EWN

DURBAN – The South African Police Service and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) are yet to react to the Moerane Commission's invitation to respond to allegations that their offices in KwaZulu-Natal are dysfunctional.

The inquiry has invited the two authorities after hearing how they have been failing their constitutional mandate in quelling the violence at the Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi.

On Monday, activist Vanessa Burger claimed Ipid has not called for a single identity parade in over a year and that postmortem reports are left uncollected from pathologists.

The police watchdog has hit out at Burger, accusing her of not only failing to provide evidence for her claims but also interfering in the work of authorities.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Police has urged both the SAPS and Ipid to respond to allegations that corrupt officials who commit assaults are not held to account.

One example of police brutality was submitted by Abahlali Basemjondolo where 17-year-old Nqobile Nzuza was shot in the back and killed by a cop.

Secretary for the Moerane Commission, Solo Mdledle, says that both SAPS and Ipid have been invited to give their side.

“After seeing their response in the media regarding the testimony of one of the witnesses to the commission, I then extended an invitation to them. They then requested something in writing.”

The commission will conduct an in-loco site visit at the Glebelands Hostel on Friday.

COMMITTEE CALLS ON SAPS

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police is calling on the South African Police Service and Ipid to respond in full to allegations made at the Moerane Commission of Inquiry.

Ipid has dismissed these claims, accusing Burger of being dishonest about her research and interactions with its KZN office.

Parliament’s portfolio committee for police says the SAPS and Ipid must appear before the commission in the interests of transparency and accountability.

Committee chair Francois Beukman said: “It’s essential that Ipid and the SAPS should present their side of the story to the Moerane Commission. The commission and the public at large can be fully informed on what’s being done to solve this large number of unsolved murders.”

Ipid has dismissed these claims as spurious and unsubstantiated.

Beukman said: “The committee will await the outcome of the commission but we believe it’s important that these allegations should be urgently addressed. Our committee will from 31 July to 3 August visit KZN.”

The committee says it will be visiting Ipid’s KZN office at the end of this month to conduct its own investigation.

77 PEOPLE KILLED SINCE MARCH 2014

The probe has seen the Glebelands hostels in Umlazi featuring prominently, where at least 77 people have been killed since March 2014.

Last month, the Public Protector’s office found that the eThekwini Municipality and police failed to prevent and investigate crime in the area.

At the same time, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has reinforced a task team investigating political violence in the province.

The R15 million commission, led by advocate Marumo Moerane, has been probing politically motivated murders since 2014.

Members of the public have been invited to make submissions with the Glebelands hostels dominating hearings.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu vowed to double efforts to bring an effort to the killings, with a focus on the Richmond and uMzimkhulu areas to name a few.

Just last week, three ANC councillors in Umzimkhulu were shot at several times, one of whom was former ANC Youth League secretary general Sindiso Magaqa.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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