Parliament gives Cele 3 months to appoint IPID head

(File, Tebogo Letsie)
(File, Tebogo Letsie)

While Police Minister Bheki Cele is still in contravention of legislation, Parliament's committees exercising oversight over the police gave them three months to recommend a candidate for the position of executive director for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

In February, News24 reported the police had contravened legislation by its failure to appoint a head for the police watchdog.

The term of the previous executive director of the IPID, Robert McBride, ended on 28 February 2019.

This after Cele was adamant he should not be reappointed, and the ANC contingent on the previous Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police ensured his contract was not extended in a contentious process early last year.

The IPID Act required that the post be filled within a reasonable time, not exceeding a year, but by 1 March 2020, there was no IPID head.

The Portfolio Committee on Police and Select Committee on Security and Justice met on Friday and resolved to give the police three months to recommend to the committees a candidate for the position of executive director for IPID, according to a statement released on Friday evening.

As per the IPID Act, the minister must nominate a suitably qualified person for appointment to the office of executive director and the committees must, within a period of 30 parliamentary working days of the nomination, confirm or reject such a nomination.

"The appointment of a permanent head of IPID is critical, especially considering the critical role the IPID is supposed to play. Furthermore, the appointment of the IPID executive director will enable the IPID to achieve set targets and ensure stability in the department," said Shahidabibi Shaikh, the chairperson of the select committee, according to the statement.

 "The contract of the former executive director ended on 28 February 2019, which means the year stipulated by the act is three months overdue. We need to reach finality on the matter to set IPID on a new path of stability and effectiveness in delivering its mandate," said Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the chairperson of the portfolio committee.. 

Both committees emphasised the importance of finding a fit and proper person for consideration.

"The timelines do not mean we should compromise on the quality of the recommended individual," Joemat-Pettersson added.  

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