The Social Justice Coalition has learnt that the State Attorney’s office has still not received instructions from the Minister of Police Bheki Cele & the South African Police Service (SAPS) to withdraw their appeal of the Equality Court judgment on the discriminatory allocation of police resources.
Earlier this week the SJC publicly welcomed recent statements made by Minister Cele. In his statements the Minister acknowledged that the Equality Court judgment was correct, that discrimination did exist in the police’s allocation of personnel to poor, Black police precincts and, as a consequence, the appeal of the judgment would be withdrawn.
However, now, in the absence of an official withdrawal, lawyers representing the SJC & the Nyanga CPF, (the Legal Resources Centre), and lawyers representing Equal Education (Webber Wentzel), are compelled to file papers in the ongoing legal proceedings.
If the appeal is ultimately not withdrawn, this would not be the first time that a police minister has knowingly & opportunistically misled people across South Africa. On 23 April 2017 the Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi publicly stated in Khayelitsha that SAPS would not contest the police resources matter in court. The judgment delivered on 14 December 2018 shows that Mkongi obviously didn’t keep his word.
The question is, will Minister Cele now do better and honour his word?
As police ministers and police commissioners have flip-flopped, made promises & then broke them, as they fail to communicate with each other & other state organs, poor, Black people across South Africa, who face intolerable levels of violent crime, continue to not get the resources they deserve & need.
The SJC will guard the victory we secured in the Equality Court on 14 December 2018. The discriminatory, nationally-applied system used to determine the allocation of police resources will be changed.
The SJC demands that Minister Cele immediately issue an instruction to the State Attorney’s office to withdraw the appeal.
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