Mireille Wenger MPP
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety
The Commission of Inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha, released its comprehensive report this week. It is a historic moment for police oversight in our young democracy and has breathed life into section 206 of our Constitution. Until this Commission, these provisions had not been tested in law nor properly in practice.
The Commissioners, evidence leaders and their team must be commended for the manner in which they conducted the Commission. Having attended many hours of the hearings and listening to very difficult testimonies of the real experiences and fears of those living in Khayelitsha, the Commission was always conducted in a manner that was dignified and in a manner which sought to find the real answers to the problems that exist.
The South African Police Service must be commended for having publicly embraced the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry as soon as the report was released and undertaking to implement the recommendations made. Similarly the Department of Community Safety has been tasked with setting up a multi-sectoral task team to address youth gangs. It is in this collaborative spirit that we can progress as a nation.
The focus is now on fixing things for the future so that the residents of Khayelitsha can receive a better level of policing. This Commission is an outstanding example of what oversight can achieve and how it can act as a facilitator for improved safety.
The Commission has made some recommendations that concern this institution. The Democratic Alliance resolves to treat this responsibility with the utmost respect and will provide the necessary importance and resources to fulfilling these obligations.