Press Statement: Fourth & Fifth day of Public hearings (Tuesday & Wednesday 28 January 2014)

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29 January 2014
Tuesday morning began with the testimony of Ms Funeka Soldaat, the coordinator of Free Gender, an organisation representing the interests of lesbian and bisexual people in Khayelitsha. She spoke of concerns with the way LB persons are treated by the police, but she also talked of how her organisation is attempting to work with the police in order to improve relations and the way they respond to the concerns of this community.

Later in the morning, Mr Mahlutshana, the principal of Chris Hani Senior Secondary School expressed his disappointed at the lack of police success in investigating burglaries which had taken place at the school over the past 4 years. He also attributed the success in dealing with gangs to the partnership between the school, Community Police Forum and the police. This was followed by Mr Mjonondwana, the principal of Zola Secondary School. He said that the school has suffered seven burglaries in 2012, but that no suspects were apprehended by the police, even where the school had identified the suspects to the police.

In the afternoon, the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of the complainant organisations led Ms Msongelwa and Ms Nduna, both members of the Social Justice Coalition. They shared stories of frustration at the police’s lack of investigation and assistance in regard to specific complaints.

On Wednesday 29 January, the Commission’s evidence leader Adv Sidaki called Dr Genine Josias, a doctor working at the Khayelitsha Thuthuzela Case Centre, Simelela. She spoke about her frustrations regarding her experience of policing conducted by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS Unit) and other SAPS members. Adv Sidaki led her evidence for most of the day taking her through many complaints that she levelled at the police for failing to follow through with investigations and feedback to survivors of sexual violence.

Though other witnesses were scheduled to give evidence today, there was insufficient time, and they will scheduled for another day.

On Thursday 30 January, there will be a focus youth and schooling. Yoliswa Dwane, the Chairperson of the National Council of Equal Education was meant to give evidence today, and will be the first witness tomorrow. The Commission will also call two experts to talk about the impact of violence and exposure to violence on children – Dr Debbie Kaminer and Dr David Harrison. There will also be community witnesses; one will speak about the way police investigation and arrest of the suspects was handled following a shack fire in which her cousin was killed. Another witness will testify about how her son was abducted by suspects and later killed. After the initial arrest of the suspects, she will testify that the police failed to investigate the matter. In the afternoon, a witness will testify that the police docket went missing after she laid a complaint of domestic violence against her husband.

For any further information on the Commission of Inquiry, please contact,

Amanda Dissel

Secretary of the Commission of Inquiry

082 417 1407
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.khayelitshacommission.org.za