STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY, ALDERMAN JP SMITH
I have noted with concern, the response by the South African Police Service to my statement on Friday 22 March 2019 about two cases that were incorrectly handled by the Philippi SAPS. The response is not only incorrect on a number of material aspects, but it also fails to account for the inaction of the Investigating Officer.
For the record:
· The shooting incident occurred on Saturday 2 March 2019 and not the Friday as the SAPS statement indicates.
· The suspect was discharged from hospital on the same evening and transferred to the holding cells at Philippi SAPS.
· The SAPS first responder completed an A1 incident form on the same day, as well as an affidavit. A case number (17/03/2019) exists for the incident.
· This documentation was sufficient to charge him in preparation for a first court appearance and there was no reliance on the statements of Metro Police officers, as SAPS is trying to suggest.
· In spite of the events that transpired, the Investigating Officer still had recourse to get the suspect before court. This could have been done through a summons to have him appear in court on a later date or applying for a warrant of arrest, based on the suspect’s criminal history.
· Three weeks hence, there is no indication that anything has been done to remedy the situation that is entirely of SAPS’ making.
· In terms of the second case, Metro Police officers executed a search warrant at a house in Hanover Park and the suspect arrested was the only person on the premises at the time. The suspect was released on the same day, indicating that there was no attempt to investigate the matter.
The City will continue its representations to the Director of Public Prosecutions to have these cases re-enrolled.
We are also considering approaching the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Western Cape Police Ombudsman about the conduct of the SAPS.
There are sufficient grounds to warrant a second look at these cases, and I suspect others too. We cannot allow members of the public to continue bearing the brunt of criminals for whom police custody is nothing more than a revolving door.