No compelling reasons not to renew McBride's contract – DA

2019-03-01 16:05
IPID head Robert Mcbride. (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images, file)

IPID head Robert Mcbride. (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images, file)

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The DA has condemned the decision not to renew Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) executive director Robert McBride's contract, calling the vote by the police committee in Parliament a "sham". 

D-Day came for McBride on Thursday when the committee adopted the recommendation that his contract not be renewed following weeks of fighting between McBride and Police Minister Bheki Cele after the latter took a "preliminary decision" not to renew his contract.

McBride has hit back, lodging an urgent application to review the decision in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

In his papers, McBride's lawyer, Jac Marais, said they wanted the decision to be set aside and declared unlawful and invalid.  

"The decision is remitted to the portfolio committee for a fresh decision which must be taken within 30 days of the date of the order," the papers read.

DA spokesperson on police Zakhele Mbhele who, together with fellow party member Dianne Kohler Barnard, boycotted the committee meeting, said in a statement: "It was evident from the beginning that the ANC (in Parliament) was determined to toe the minister's line, instead of considering the matter objectively and rationally.

Claims of breakdown in relationship

"The fact is that there are no compelling, substantive reasons not to renew McBride's contract. All that the minister gave to the committee in his submission of reasons were allegations that are, as yet, untested and unproved," said Mbhele.

News24 previously reported that in his submission to the committee, Cele said there was "prima facie evidence" that McBride was not fit to be executive director.

But McBride said Cele's allegations were "feeble".

"Given the need for the independence of the IPID, identical to that for the Hawks, it is now clear that the term of the IPID head should be similarly non-renewable and lengthened so that any incumbent can fulfil their responsibilities without fear of career consequences from a seemingly vindictive minister," Mbhele further charged.

The committee heard several reasons why McBride's contract should not be renewed, including a breakdown of trust between McBride and Cele and the failure to fulfil the requirements of the employment agreement with regard to the conclusion of a performance agreement and the conducting of performance assessments.

The DA disagrees, saying McBride's track record is precisely why his contract should be renewed.

"We have no doubt that this ANC decision that toes the minister's line is judicially reviewable on the grounds of irrationality," added Mbhele. 

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Read more on:    ipid  |  robert mcbride  |  pretoria

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