The Acting Head of the Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Victor Senna says the institution was forced to close some of its satellite offices because it didn’t have sufficient funds to maintain them.

He told the Portfolio Committee on Police in Parliament that IPID faces a choice between cutting costs and dealing with an increasing police case load.

“We have closed five satellite offices. However, the challenge that it’s posing to us is that IPID is not accessible to ordinary members of the community. So, what we are currently doing is to look at the limited funds that we have internally, to say which offices we can reopen,” says Senna.

While IPID says it is stable, limited funding is causing some challenges and has an impact on operations. Despite the challenges, IPID could still boast with an improvement in its performance.

In the last financial year, it secured 91 criminal convictions, referred nearly 2 000 cases to the  National Prosecution Authority (NPA).

Eleven high profile cases, ranging from murder, torture, to corruption are being investigated. It was after the first round of questions from MPs, however, that IPID expressed concern.

“When I was listening to the questions from the members, I thought maybe we should have had a sort of an induction workshop to members, so that they can fully understand the business of IPID. Because some of the questions, I could (tell) that it’s not in line with what IPID is doing,” adds Senna.

The remark did not sit well with some MPs.

“They came with the perception that this is the 6th Parliament. It’s new members, not knowing what we know. All  of us, we have read the legacy report, and I found it very strange how you are answering. We should not be undermined. This is the first group to treat us this way,” says ANC’s Jaqueline Mofokeng.

Meanwhile, IPID says it is in the process of modernising its operations. It is currently finalising its organisational structures to ensure the entity is fit for purpose.