The public protector’s report into the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) will be reviewed on the grounds that it is ‘irrational’ and potentially erodes the entity’s independence.
This is according to a statement by former Ipid boss Robert McBride where he says the vast amount of the report deals with a complaint that is identical to another complaint that was previously investigated by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
“The PSC found the complaint to be unsubstantiated. It seems the PP [public protector] failed to take this investigation into consideration. The PP’s report is clearly reviewable. It is irrational as the findings cannot be reconciled with the facts. The report is also, in essence, an erosion of Ipid’s independence and is likely to interrupt Ipid’s investigation into industrial-scale corruption and looting within the SAPS [South African Police Service] as it spuriously implicates most of Ipid’s executive members,” McBride said.
A week ago, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane signed off on a scathing report stating that former Ipid investigator Cedrick Nkabinde’s complaint that he was suspended for whistle-blowing was “substantiated”.
Nkabinde lodged a complaint with the office of the public protector last year, alleging irregular appointments, maladministration and victimisation for his protected disclosure regarding alleged unethical conduct by McBride.
Nkabinde claimed that Ipid suspended him because he blew the whistle on the alleged irregular appointment of Theresa Botha as a deputy director at Ipid despite being under-qualified for the position.
This led to the protracted fight between McBride and police minister Bheki Cele, culminating in the former Ipid head’s contract not being renewed.
“Ubiquitous evidence in my possession revealed that the entire selection/recruitment panel failed to exclude the CV of Ms Botha during the selection process despite the fact that it did not have the necessary information as her position/job title…the members violated the IPID recruitment policy,” Mkhwebane’s report read.
But McBride claims that the timing of the report’s release is “suspicious” in that it is on the eve of the widely anticipated testimony of senior Ipid investigators at the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.”
“It should also be noted that there is a criminal investigation against the complainant in this matter and the investigation is currently with the DPP [director of public prosecutions] for decision. Apart from the pending investigation, the complainant was also found to be unreliable by a court of law,” he said.
He added that he would approach the high court for an interdict “and take this ridiculous report on review.”
Meanwhile, Nkabinde told the M&G that he was also consulting his lawyers to see what further steps to take.
One of Mkhwebane’s recommendations included that the acting executive director of the Ipid, Victor Senna, should in 30 days take steps against all Ipid members who violated the Ipid Act and the Constitution which resulted in the irregular appointment of Botha and the improper prejudice of Nkabinde.
She stated that within 60 days there should be a judicial review to set aside the appointment of Botha and the development of a policy relating to the proper handling of whistle-blowers without victimising them or disclosing their identity.
Senna has been at the helm of the Ipid since March when the police portfolio committee did not renew McBride’s contract following a public and protracted fight with Cele, who had instructed the former Ipid head to reinstate Nkabinde.
Read McBride’s statement below: