_: In the spirit of co-operative governance and co-operative intergovernmental relations, the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa today wrote a letter to the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille requesting a meeting that they discuss her announcement of a Commission of Inquiry into allegations of the police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.
“I also desire that by writing to you we shall avert an intergovernmental dispute. This is necessary as organs of state are constitutionally bound to co-operate with each other in mutual trust, good faith, to assist and support each other,” states the Minister’s letter.
Minister Mthethwa has absolute respect for Premier Zille’s right to establish a Commission of Inquiry, but holds a view that the appointment of such a Commission at this stage is premature and may impact on other initiatives currently underway.
He remains concerned about crime, particularly gender-based violence in the Khayelitsha district and given the challenges, police continue to do their best in dealing with the situation. To this end, he has visited and held various community participation meetings around Khayelitsha and surrounding areas.
“I therefore, request that you postpone the commencement of the work of the appointed Commission of Inquiry so that we may discuss the matter to enable us to find possible alternative resolutions, if any, to the challenges that you believe exist in Khayelitsha.”
To facilitate the resolution of the challenges, Minister Mthethwa intends to discuss, amongst others, Premier Zille’s correspondence to the National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega, including processes and structures that are underway in resolving the challenges on crime in Khayelitsha.
Since the announcement of this Commission, the Minister has received a report and a briefing relating to the matter from the National Commissioner of Police. Concurrently he has also requested his legal team consider the matter and provide him with advice as soon as possible.
The meeting, once confirmed, would also focus on understanding the rationale by the Premier on why such a commission of inquiry is the most appropriate mechanism to establish the veracity of the allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha.
“I am approaching this request with an open mindset, mindful that through our pending discussions, should I become convinced that this Commission of Inquiry is necessary, I shall ensure that my department co-operates fully with it,” concluded the Minister.