Fight crime like you fought apartheid, police officer tells Khayelitsha residents

Community Policing Commitment signed

Photo of police van in Khayelitsha

The Community Policing Commitment was signed in Khayelitsha on Monday, in line with recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry. Photo: Adam Armstrong

By Moses Mackay

27 September 2016

A Khayelitsha senior police officer has urged residents to show the same commitment to fighting crime as they did to fighting apartheid.

Khayelitsha Cluster Commander Major General Johan Brand spoke on Monday at a ceremony to mark the signing of the Community Policing Commitment by police.

The event was attended by police officers, members of the Social Justice Coalition and other residents.

The adoption of a Community Policing Commitment was one of 20 recommendations made by the 2014 Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry to improve safety and policing.

“The masses made the apartheid system fall but they are unable to make crime fall,” said Brand. “People must show the commitment they showed when they defeated the apartheid system. #CrimeMustFall,” he said.

He said the other recommendations in the commission’s report were also being addressed.

Brand said informal settlements were difficult to police because they had no streets or lights.

Socio-economic conditions, including unemployment, lack of decent housing, the design of the townships and peer pressure from criminal groups contributed to the crime problem, he said.

He acknowledged that there were not enough CCTV cameras in Khayelitsha, adding that the cameras in the area had been installed during the time of former President Thabo Mbeki.

The SJC said the Community Policing Commitment was to have been developed in consultation with the community and civil society in Khayelitsha, but there had been no public engagement and the document had been developed only by the SA Police Service. This was “problematic”, but the the adoption of the Community Policing Commitment was an important step in implementing the Commission’s recommendations, the SJC said.