Parliament is racing against time to resolve the impasse between Police Minister Bheki Cele and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head, Robert McBride.
Cele insists he will not renew McBride’s five year contract when it expires next week Thursday. However, McBride has hit back, saying Parliament must take the final decision on the matter.
Earlier this month, Cele and McBride agreed in court that the legislator must take a final decision on the matter. Lobby group Corruption Watch has also entered the fray, arguing Parliament must have it finalised by next Thursday.
“It is said on paragraph 12; the portfolio committee is constitutionally and legislatively obligated to determine the renewal of the incumbent’s post by 28 February 2019. A failure to do so will mean the portfolio committee has defaulted on its oversight duties,” says Committee Chairperson, Francois Beukman.
The Helen Suzman Foundation has also thrown a spanner in the works. The foundation says it will appeal the earlier settlement agreement between the two parties when the matter goes back to court on Tuesday.
“They indicate also until the appeal is finalised the HSF calls on relevant parties to agree to the following interim regime. The portfolio committee is prevented from deciding on the removal of Mr McBride’s term of office. The minister is prevented from appointing any acting executive director. The minister is prevented from recommending the appointment of a new executive director and Mr McBride’s tenure is maintained during the time it takes for the appeal to be finalised,” adds Francois.
Cele has finally given reasons for his decision. He’s accused McBride of not being fit to hold office.
Cele detailed allegations of abuse of authority, irregular appointments, procurement irregularities and the improper use of a private investigator.
McBride says he was cleared of the allegations by the Public Service Commission. He says even the Public Protector declined to investigate them, as she had considered the matter closed.
The Police Committee will resume deliberations on the matter on Monday.