More than 900 competency certificates for the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement officers have been sent to the police to check whether they were declared fit to possess a firearm.
This was one of the resolutions by the Parliament’s portfolio committee on the police, calling on the City to provide the certificates by Monday, and was further exacerbated by the Law Enforcement’s heavy-handedness when dealing with land invasions and evictions, and the death of a police officer Constable Thando Sigcu, 38, who was shot and killed in January, allegedly by a City law enforcement officer.
Committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson said she was alerted by the office of the provincial police commissioner, Yolisa Matakata, that their legal services received 934 City Law Enforcement competencies from the City.
She said she was told they were waiting for the City safety and security executive director Richard Bosman to provide the total strength of Law Enforcement officers.
Bosman confirmed that the certificates were sent off via email on Monday and acknowledged by the office of the provincial commissioner.
“It must be noted that these certificates are issued through the office of the provincial commissioner to begin with, and it is, therefore, unclear why these are being requested from the City as SAPS is required to have these on record,” he said.
However, he said at the stage, they were not aware of any response from the office of the National Commissioner Khehla Sitole regarding additional public order policing support.
Joemat-Pettersson said the committee was satisfied that the City complied with the conditions.
“The national commissioner will respond to why he has requested the certificates and he has indicated that he has a problem with the training standards because he sets the training standards.”
She said Sitole indicated that he withdrew all delegations where cluster commanders could sign competency certificates.
Only the national commissioner and provincial commissioners have signing powers.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith said the City’s enforcement patrols proved their crime prevention initiatives were effective and would continue with efforts to serve and protect the residents of Cape Town.
Smith said arresting suspects is only the first step towards successful conviction.
“When we find that we arrest suspects who are out on parole committing the same crime, it indicates that the criminal justice system is weakening and should be improved to ensure successful prosecution and conviction for known criminals at the very least.
“The City’s enforcement efforts in the protection of public and private land will be optimised with greater efficiency when all spheres of government commit to working together to serve and protect the residents of Cape Town,” he said.
Smith said however, as long as the absence of police continues to plague the enforcement environment from meaningful protection of land, residents would continue to fall victim to the unlawful occupation of land.