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06 Sep 2016 15:46
The DA wants Police Minister Nathi Nhleko (pictured) to resign following the Constitutional Court's decision regarding the suspension of Ipid head Robert McBrid. (David Harrison, M&G)
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko should resign following the Constitutional Court’s decision regarding the suspension of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride, says the Democratic Alliance.
The Freedom Front Plus described the court cases as unnecessary arm wrestling to determine who had more power between the minister and the Ipid head.
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday set aside the minister’s decision to suspend McBride, declaring it invalid.
However, the order was suspended for 30 days in order for the National Assembly and the minister of police to, “if they so choose, to exercise their powers”.
The National Assembly has been given 24 months to rectify a defect in the Ipid Act, a law which essentially gives the minister of police powers to suspend, take any disciplinary steps pursuant to suspension, or remove from office the Ipid executive director.
The DA’s Zakhele Mbhele said this should be the last “invalid” ruling against Nhleko.
‘Witch-hunt’ “Today’s ruling on McBride’s suspension reaffirms that Minister Nhleko is not a fit and proper person to hold this position pursuant to section 96(2)(b) of the Constitution.”
Mbhele said the court case could only be likened “to a witch-hunt to rid himself of those who conduct investigations that are too sensitive and threaten the ANC’s patronage”.
While the Constitutional Court was delivering its judgment, Ipid was presenting to the police committee in Parliament their vacancies and budget constraints.
During the meeting, FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald asked about the amount of money spent on litigation, especially on the McBride case, and questioned where the budget came from.
The MP asked for the specific amounts of money spent on the McBride case, which acting Ipid executive director Israel Kgamanyane promised would be provided to the committee at a later stage.
“Who pays for the arm-wrestling between the minister and the head of Ipid?” Groenewald asked.
Suspension valid for 30 more days
Later, he said he welcomed the judgment, as it confirmed Ipid’s independence.
It would create more public confidence in Ipid as an independent institution, he said.
Committee chairperson and ANC MP Francois Beukman said the committee had noted the decision by the Constitutional Court.
They would wait for the minister and the National Assembly to refer the matter to the committee, he said.
They would deal with rectifying the act, so that it complied with the Constitution, he said.
The chairperson clarified that McBride was still suspended for the next 30 days.
McBride was suspended in March 2015 for allegedly altering a report by Ipid on former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat and Hawks Gauteng head Shadrack Sibiya. They were accused of illegally deporting a group of Zimbabweans wanted for murder.
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