Meet Cape's new W Cape police ombudsman and find out how you make a complaint

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  • The Western Cape Police Ombudsman is an independent and impartial position
  • Retired Major General Oswald Reddy’s job is to help you with any complaints about police in the Western Cape

Meet Cape's new W Cape police ombudsman and find out how you make a complaint
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Retired Major General Oswald Reddy has been appointed as the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman and has formally taken up office.

The position is important as it allows members of the public, to report shortcomings when it comes to police not performing as they’re meant to, whether it be abusing their power or not taking our cases seriously.

Reddy has been in the ranks of SAPS for over 40 years and has a deep understanding of how it works.

The Police Ombudsman is an independent body. It is the first of its kind in South Africa in the Western Cape – so the jurisdiction is just for the Western Cape – and this comes out of the Khayelitsha Commission which took place around 20132014 and was one of their recommendations.

Retired Major General Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

Advocate Vusi Pikoli was the first South African Police Ombudsman, thereafter retired Major-General brand and now myself.

Retired Major General Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

What is the mandate of the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman?

Reddy says its core function and mandate is to impartially and independently investigate and seek to resolve complaints against police inefficiencies and to deal with the breakdown in relations between the police and the community.

It is not part of SAPS.

Retired Major General Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

While it is not a Section 9 entity like IPID (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) it will work in a similar way, he says, and is empowered by the Western Cape FD Act.

Any complaints from any individual or organisation fall under the province.

Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

What are the frequent complaints made?

Most complaints revolve around poor service delivery from SAPS, he says.

Poor communication, poor investigation, and unacceptable conduct, failure of police to conduct themselves in a proper, fair manner, failure to follow procedures, disregard for the Batho Pele Principles, failure to respond to inquiries and complaints, and sometimes no feedback on cases, lack of visible policing.

Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

What powers does the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman have?

We are a statutory body and we are empowered to direct that individuals can appear before me. I can also enter any building or premises, I can look at documents, make requests for information.

Oswald Reddy, Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman

He notes that such failure to comply is an offence in terms of Section 30 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act where a law enforcement officer can be issued with a fine, or up to three years imprisonment, or both a fine and a prison sentence.

This applies to both SAPS and Metro police officers currently, he clarifies.

How to make a complaint?

* Telephone 483-0669 Fax 483-0660 email ombudsman@wcpo.gov.za

Click here to reach the website

Office of the is 6 Flr Waldorf Building, 80 Burg Street, St Georges Mall from 7.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday

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