Nhleko asks Parliament to establish McBride inquiry, again

2016-11-25 12:30
Robert McBride (Netwerk24)

Robert McBride (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has again asked Parliament to establish an inquiry into Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride. 

“Once this process has commenced, I will be in a position to suspend him for the alleged misconduct and the prosecutor will be in a position to reinstate the criminal charges against him,” Nhleko said in his letter to the speaker.

He called for the process to start as “soon as possible”. 

This is related to claims that McBride altered an investigation report into the alleged illegal rendition of several Zimbabweans.

The letter was dated November 10, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said in Parliament’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee reports published on Friday.

“Request by Minister of Police following Constitutional Court ruling on Ipid Executive Director (1) A letter dated 10 November 2016 has been received from the Minister of Police, requesting the Assembly to mandate the Portfolio Committee on Police to consider exercising its powers in terms of subsections 17DA(3) to 17DA(7) of the South African Police Services Act, 1995 (No 68 of 1995), as read into section 6(6) of the Independent Police Investigative Act, 2011 (No 1 of 2011) by the Constitutional Court in its order in McBride v Minister of Police and Another [2016] ZACC 30,” the speaker said.

The police minister’s spokesperson Sandile Ngidi told News24 on Friday that the essence of the letter was to call for the inquiry after the process was abandoned in October in Parliament. 

It's an impasse

“The matter has been left unresolved. And if the situation continues as it is, it makes the working relationship between the minister and the Ipid head relatively difficult. For both parties, it is an impasse,” he said. 

The matter fell away in October when the minister asked the speaker referred Nhleko’s request to Parliament’s police committee.

But the committee could not proceed as it needed to be a resolution in the National Assembly for any committee of Parliament to deal with the matter.

McBride returned to work after his suspension was set aside by the Constitutional Court. However, the ruling was suspended for 30 days to allow Parliament and the Minister to decide on the disciplinary steps against McBride. 

Nhleko wrote a letter to the speaker in September asking for a committee to be set up, but in a response in October, she told him his request could not be processed before the expiry of a 30-day deadline. 

Subsections 17DA(3) to 17DA(7) of the South African Police Services Act says the Ipid head may be removed from office on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence on a finding to that effect by a committee of the National Assembly.

Or this could be done through the adoption of a resolution by the National Assembly calling for the removal of that person. The resolution, however, would need a two-thirds majority to pass.

The minister may suspend the national head of the directorate from office at any time after the start of the proceedings of a committee of the National Assembly for the removal of that person, according to the act.   

Read more on:    ipid  |  nathi nhleko  |  robert mcbride

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