2009-06-26: Only a commission can get to the bottom of SAPS

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2009-06-26: Only a commission can get to the bottom of SAPS

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2009-06-26 12:36


Only a commission can get to the bottom of SAPS row

June 26, 2009 Edition 1

The editorial of June 25 raises important questions deserving of proper answers.

The best, and probably only, way to get to the bottom of the dysfunctional aspects in the Western Cape SAPS is to invoke section 206(5) of the constitution by appointing an independent commission of inquiry chaired by a retired judge (perhaps one who started professional life as a prosecutor).

The commission would investigate and report on police inefficiency and the breakdown in relations between the police and communities in the Western Cape.

The SAPS is still marching to the sound of a different drum to that which the majority of the people in the province support, so it is inevitable that breakdowns can be expected.

Lennit Max is a member of a party which would have retained the Scorpions, Mzwandile Petros is in favour of their demise; Max was a policeman for decades while Petros was a school teacher until the opportunities of cadre deployment catapulted him to the high office he now holds; Max would have preferred a prosecution in the Keg and Swan attempted bombing case, Petros was all for a withdrawal, and who knows what lies behind the Hewana case concerning an alleged SAPS cover-up for Tony Yengeni.

Complaining to the Independent Complaints Directorate of the SAPS is a waste of time: its commander is quoted in the report on page 6 of the same edition as conceding that it "lacks resources" and faces an "uphill battle" in getting co-operation from provincial station commissioners to investigate corruption.

The stage is set for the premier to appoint the necessary commission of inquiry, giving it suitably comprehensive terms of reference.

Paul Hoffman, SC
Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa
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