Beukman appointed as ICD head

2009-08-06 17:04

Cape Town - Parliament gave the police ministry the go-ahead on Thursday to appoint former ANC MP Francois Beukman as the head of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).

The appointment was approved by members of the ruling party and the opposition on Parliament's portfolio committee on police after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told them on Monday Beukman was his choice for the post.

Beukman is a former National Party politician who chaired the legislature's watchdog public accounts committee from 2002 to 2005 before defecting to the African National Congress.

Political appointment

All parties agreed to the appointment, but Congress of the People MP Mluleki George said though he had nothing against Beukman and new national police commissioner Bheki Cele, he believed it was wrong to appoint politicians to head important public bodies.

"I have no problem with Mr Francois Beukman, but it is a question of principle. You need professional people do deal with them," he told the committee.

Opposition parties strongly objected to Cele's appointment as South Africa's new top cop last week, saying as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee he could not be trusted to be neutral in his new job.

Cele who was present as George spoke, having just briefed the committee on planning in various departments of the police force, shrugged off the criticism.

"Thanks for your Damascus moment, George," he said, referring to George's defection from the ANC to Cope last year.