The order, in principle, states that the Nyanga CPF has the right to intervene as an applicant. This is a victory for and an advancement of the power of communities to hold police to account and to actively participate in how policing is carried out.
The Nyanga CPF’s application to intervene as the third applicant was heard earlier this week. Judge Boqwana’s order of today states:
“Leave to appeal as Third Applicant in the main application under Case No 3/16 is granted subject to the ratification of the decision to bring this intervention application and other ancillary decisions related thereto at a properly constituted meeting of the Applicant in compliance with Clause 10.4.4 of the Uniform Constitution for Community Police Forums and Boards in the Western Cape.
The Applicant is ordered to file an affidavit in this regard by 10 October 2016 failing which the order granting the Applicant leave to intervene in the main application as Third Applicant will lapse”
Judge Boqwana’s order means that the Nyanga CPF must reconvene an executive meeting where the Station Commander (or a representative) is present and the vote to apply to intervene must be take again. At the original meeting where the decision was taken the Station Commander was not present. In this executive meeting, consisting of 8 members including the Station Commander, the Station Commander will have a single vote in the matter.
Nyanga is an area with one of the highest crime rates in the country for categories such as murder and sexual assault. It is also severely under-resourced in terms of policing.
In 2014 the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry found that, “Residents of the poorest areas of Cape Town that bore the brunt of apartheid are still woefully under-policed twenty years into our new democracy and are often the police stations with the highest levels of serious contact crime. This pattern needs to change as a matter of urgency”.
The Nyanga CPF, a representative of the community, is in a position to provide a court with valuable evidence about the impact of the lack of resources on safety and justice in one of the worst affected areas in South Africa.
In the main matter that the CPF has been given the right to join, the SJC and EE seek to compel the Minister and the acting National Commissioner of the SAPS to take urgent steps to:
“1. Revise its theoretical system of allocating human resources through an open, consultative process in order to ensure outcomes that are rational and non-discriminatory.
2. Make the theoretical and actual allocation of police human resources publicly available;
3. Remedy as a matter or urgency, the discriminatory allocation of resources within the Western Cape; and
4. Declare that Provincial Commissioners have the power and the obligation to deviate from the theoretical human resource allocation in order to provide a fair and equitable distribution of police resources.”
For comment please contact:
Martin Makasi (Nyanga CPF Chairperson) 084 871 3612
Chumile Sali (SJC) 071 609 3236