Team to root out bad eggs in Cape Town’s metro police

3 04 2008

Note: AEC would like to clarify that the city manager is (in part) referring to reports forwarded by Delft and Joe Slovo communities regarding the Metro Police’s abuse of power. Despite Ebrahim’s gesture, the creation of a task team will not ‘root out [the] bad eggs’ because (a) Ebrahim ignores the need for representation on the task team by the communities themselves and (b) he ignores the repressive orders that are tasked to the Metro Police by city officials themselves (such as turning away NGO aid to Delft Symphony Pavement Dwellers).

Team to root out bad eggs in Cape Town’s metro police
Source: Mail & Guardian
03 April 2008 01:49

The city of Cape Town says it is to strengthen oversight of its metro police, following reports of indiscipline and alleged brutality.

A task team, chaired by city manager Achmat Ebrahim, would be set up to perform this oversight, the city said in a statement on Thursday.

The team would include metro police chief Bongani Jonas, council officials with skills in areas such as industrial relations and law, and politicians.

“This will be the start of an extensive process … to improve service delivery, discipline and operational effectiveness,” the city said.

“This team will deal with matters such as getting the basics right, discipline and speedy disciplinary action where needed [and] improving the image of the service.”

Dumisani Ximbi, mayoral committee member for safety and security, who will sit on the team, said there were many committed officers in the metro police who were doing a tough job well.

“It is unfortunate that the service is tarnished by the wrongdoing of some members.

“Cape Town needs a functional and effective metro police service and this is what the task team will try to achieve.”

Ebrahim said there had been a number of incidents over the past few months which necessitated disciplinary action against metro police.

These included the blockade of roads into Cape Town in August last year “and other incidents involving the public where metro police officers have not adhered to the … manual”, he said.

The unit was in the news recently when a woman claimed she was assaulted by a metro officer after he ordered her to clean up her dog’s excrement from a Sea Point pavement. – Sapa

Solidarity: Alexandra Vukuzenzele Crisis Committee Reoccupies RDP Houses in Alexandra Ext 7

3 04 2008

22 arrests since Monday 24 March

The Alexandra Vukuzenzele Crisis Committee (AVCC) residents have re-occupied houses in Alexandra Extension 7 since the 20th of March after negotiations failed to bear any fruit for the poor people of Alexandra. Twenty of the occupiers were arrested on the following Monday, 24 March, and appeared in court the following day. All defendants were released on free bail. Two comrades of the AVCC were arrested for contempt of court while in Extension 7 this past Friday, 28 March.

The houses that were built in Extension 7 were earmarked for poor residents of the township but bribery and corruption associated with the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) has denied them access to the houses that are legitimately theirs. They have been on the housing waiting list since 1996. When the AVCC first occupied the houses in Extension 7 on 3 September last year, sixty people were arrested for trespassing and public violence. The charges were dropped on the 28th of February 2008. Another group of twelve residents were also arrested at the same time last year on the same charges. When they appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate courts on 12 and 19 March 2008 the charges were also dropped.

With the occupation of houses and arrests in Katlehong and the recent mass evictions in the community of Delft in Cape Town, it is clear that communities’ patience with the immovable housing backlog in South Africa is exhausted. Poor working class communities can no longer wait on government’s slow delivery of sub-standard basic services and that is why the residents of Alexandra took to the streets on the 3rd September 2007.

There are no clear processes around who is going to be allocated the houses because clear consultative meetings have not been held by the ARP. This is despite the fact that the Department of Housing and the ARP claim that the recognised structure in the community is the Alexandra Development Forum where residents are supposed to air their views on the development of Alexandra. But the AVCC has tried in vain to engage with the Forum on a regular basis. It has become clear to the AVCC that the ADF is a political football field for ward councillors to dribble past issues and pass on information selectively to their members. The AVCC therefore resolved to engage directly with the housing crisis.

The construction of low-cost housing is not changing the lives of the poor in the country because the delivery of basic services is still class skewed. The rich minority are enjoying the fruits of the neo-liberal policies of the ANC-led government while the poor majority are being screwed by the non-delivery of basic services and the repeated promise of a better life for all. The situation of communities taking over housing projects in Alexandra and in many other communities across our country is a situation brought about by the implementation of neo-liberal policies in a country that is divided right down the middle between the rich and the poor.

For more details please contact Friedah Mamtolo Dlamini (arrested 28 March) @ 084 293 1512 or Caroline Phoswa @ 073 704 7247 or Silumko Radebe @ 011 333 8334


3 04 2008

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