POLICE Minister Nathi Mthethwa will on Friday approach the Constitutional Court in a bid to halt the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry, his spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, said on Friday.
The Western Cape High Court last month dismissed an application made by Mr Mthethwa to halt the commission of inquiry established by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.
"The minister has now decided to make an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court," Mr Mnisi said.
"Minister Mthethwa decided to do so because two judgments were delivered in the matter. The majority judgment concluded that the premier had complied fully with the principles of co-operative government and that the application made by the Minister had to be dismissed, for that reason."
Mr Mnisi said the minority judgment, on the other hand, had concluded that the intergovernmental processes had not been fully complied with, and would have ordered the parties to finalise those processes and to report back to the court so it could consider the application again.
"The minister believes the approach adopted by the minority was correct and the majority should have concurred with the minority. Both Minister Mthethwa and the national commissioner of police, Gen Riah Phiyega, had undertaken to work with the premier and the civil society organisations which had wanted the inquiry, in order to address their concerns," Mr Mnisi said.
"In fact, Gen Phiyega had established a task team to consider the matter. That task team had submitted a comprehensive report to her which suggested further investigations were necessary. She had drafted terms of reference for the broader enquiry which the minister had endorsed.
"The minister believes it would not be coherent or useful to have two inquiries functioning at the same time to consider the same complaints, thus had asked Premier Zille to halt this commission of inquiry," Mr Mnisi said.
"Apart from concerns about the failure on the part of the premier to adhere properly to the principles of co-operative government, the minister believes the commission’s powers are very broad, will intrude upon the powers of the police and hinder (the police service) in its work.
"The commission also appears to want to investigate the whole of the criminal justice system. This exceeds the powers given to the province to appoint a commission of inquiry."
Ms Zille set up the commission of inquiry in August last year after intense lobbying by civil society groups, which believed vigilante killings in Khayelitsha were a result of failed policing.
The commission was scheduled to start its work in November 2012.
A police report in 2012 indicated that there were 78 "mob justice" murders in Khayelitsha over a period of 14 months.
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