24 January 2013

South Africa: UCT and Stellenbosch University Call for Khayelitsha Policing Inquiry

The University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University are deeply concerned about the disturbing levels of violence and insecurity in Khayelitsha, which has recently been highlighted by controversies surrounding policing, governance and vigilantism in this area. Consequently, the two universities are of the view that a commission of inquiry into policing and incidents of violence in Khayelitsha is essential.

Both the universities welcome the judgment in the Cape High Court on 14 January, 2013, to dismiss the urgent interdict application by the Minister of Police to terminate the commission of inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha (established by the Western Cape government). However, the universities are concerned that existing tensions between the national government and the Western Cape provincial government may further undermine the work of the commission of inquiry.

The University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, which have been in consultation with those civil society organisations who are working in violence-affected areas in Khayelitsha since October 2012, therefore decided to prepare this joint statement. The two universities urge all levels of government to co-operate in order to allow the commission of inquiry to effectively fulfil its mandate.

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