60 criminal cases struck off court roll due to ‘police inefficiencies’, Western Cape government claims

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60 criminal cases struck off court roll due to 'police inefficiencies', Western Cape government claims
60 criminal cases struck off court roll due to 'police inefficiencies', Western Cape government claims

Africa-Press – South-Africa. More than 60 criminal cases were struck off the rolls of various courts in the Western Cape in just three months due to police inefficiencies, the provincial government has said.

Providing a breakdown of the latest available statistics from the Court Watching Brief (CWB) Unit between April to June, Premier Alan Winde and Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said during a briefing that the unit monitored eight courts over the period under review, covering 21 police stations.

During the briefing, Allen said 63 cases were recorded as having police inefficiencies over the first quarter of the current financial year.

Of these, 26 (41.3%) were gender-based violence (GBV) matters; 20 (31.7%) were assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm cases; and 10 (15.8%) were rape cases.

“It is of utmost importance that we have a police service that consistently delivers professional work. All persons should experience the same quality of service from SAPS [the SA Police Service], regardless of who they are or where they come from.

“It has to be seen that justice is served and that no secondary victimisation occurs. Many of our residents experience trauma, and the one service that should not add to it is the SAPS,” Allen said.

The CWB findings showed that Kraaifontein Police Station had the highest number of cases struck off the roll at eight. These included GBV matters.

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Winde in turn said while it was very concerning that cases stemming from serious offences such as GBV were not being dealt with properly in some courts, he was aware of the immense strain police officers are under.

Winde added:

Allen argued for the devolution of police powers on the back of the findings.

The CWB findings come shortly after the province’s bloodiest week of the year, with more than 130 people killed in the last week of September.

Two police officers were among those killed, with several mass shootings taking place in areas such as Gugulethu and Ravensmead.

At the time, Police Minister Bheki Cele said police in the Western Cape were making inroads into fighting crime through Operation Shanela.

He added that more than 970 people had been arrested in connection with murder since April and more than 940 had been arrested in connection with attempted murder.

Cele said kidnapping, which has been highlighted as a crime of concern in the Cape Town area, had been “dealt a blow through policing interventions”.

“From April to date, there have been 13 incidents of kidnapping for ransom … Seven of the cases have been solved through the arrest of 28 suspects. Three vehicles have been recovered while two people were convicted to life behind bars for kidnapping,” he said.

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