Following comments made by Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi in Khayelitsha on 23 April 2017, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has initiated the following actions:
1. We have instructed our legal representatives at the Legal Resource Centre (LRC) to write to the State Attorney
In response to comments from the SJC’s General-Secretary Phumeza Mlungwana on a lack of responsiveness from the SAPS and the Ministry on the issue of human and other resources, Mkongi stated the following:
“So the Social Justice Coalition is not fighting the police, you must not think that your struggles to take the police to court, you are fighting the police. You are reinforcing our attitudes. Therefore we are not going to contest your court, we are going to agree with you. We are going to agree with you because if we speak about partnership of the police with the people – therefore the police must not be hostile to the progressive demand of the people. The police should support the progressive agenda of the people, because it is the police of the people, not the police of the system. So, we are not going to contest you”.
As a result, we have instructed our legal representatives to write to the State Attorney for written confirmation indicating that the respondents are withdrawing their papers in opposition to the Equality Court case brought by the SJC, Equal Education (EE) and the Nyanga Community Police Forum (Nyanga CPF).
Withdrawal will mean that SAPS concedes to the following declarations sought:
- That the allocation of police human resources in the Western Cape and nationally unfairly discriminates against Black and poor people on the basis of race and poverty.
- That the system employed by SAPS to determine the allocation of police human resources unfairly discriminates against Black and poor people on the basis of race and poverty.
2. We will continue to campaign for greater access to policing services for the poor working class communities of Vrygrond, Capricorn and Seawinds served by the Muizenberg police station.
The SJC welcomes the announcement that the slated R100 million upgrade of the Muizenberg police station has been halted.
We are, however, concerned that in making this declaration the Deputy Minister has not rationally considered the needs of the various communities currently served by the Muizenberg police station that require greater access to police services. By referring to those who would benefit from a Muizenberg Police Station upgrade, as “the child of Botha in Muizenberg” it is clear that the Deputy Minister has not taken the needs of the poor, working-class, Black-African and Coloured communities of Vrygrond, Capricorn and Seawinds into consideration.
At a public meeting in Khayelitsha on Saturday, organised by the SJC, communities from across the city, including residents from Vrygrond, Muizenberg, Masiphumelele, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Sea Point, undertook to initiate a campaign to not only oppose the R100 million upgrade, but to campaign for the relocation of the Muizenberg police station to the communities with the greatest need in the precinct. We will continue to campaign for this relocation.
Head – Safety and Justice Programme
Senior Researcher – Safety and Justice Programme