Interview with Judge Kate O'Regan

  • Elrena van der Spuy University of Cape Town

Abstract

In August 2012 Kate O'Regan, a former judge of the South African Constitutional Court, was appointed by the premier of the Western Cape to head the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Police Inefficiency and a Breakdown in Relations between SAPS and the Community in Khayelitsha. Two years later, on 25 August 2014, the commission submitted its final report and recommendations. 
In this exchange O'Regan reflects from the inside out on some aspects of the public inquiry into policing in Khayelitsha. Here one finds reference to judicial independence and organisational autonomy of commissions of inquiry; the value of comparative lesson drawing for process design; the importance of creating safe spaces for all participants; and honouring the contributions of participants. Policing, O'Regan concludes, is a truly challenging enterprise. Both political and police leadership carry a moral responsibility to engage systemic and other challenges as identified in both of the Marikana and Khayelitsha reports. Not to do so would imply the abdication of responsibility to address the safety and security concerns of South African citizens.
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Published
2015-11-02
Section
On the record