‘McBride not right for Ipid’

Robert McBride, Ipid executive director.  
Picture: Michel Bega.

Robert McBride, Ipid executive director. Picture: Michel Bega.

Axed Ekhuruleni Metro Police Chief Robert McBride is not the right man to head up the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), according to experts in the field.

According to the ANC, opposition to McBride’s appointment is based in racism.

Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Johan Burger said what the public needed for the post was someone who is [publicly] “respected”.

“Ipid is a civilian oversight body, who we rely on to police the police. You need to have someone respected, and someone whose integrity is beyond reproach.

“McBride doesn’t fit the criteria.”

Instead, he is a “highly controversial figure”, who has faced a number of criminal charges, [each time] getting off on a technicality, said Burger.

“But, in the eyes of the public he is guilty as hell.”

Burger’s comments follow Parliament’s portfolio committee on the police backed McBride to be nominated as head of Ipid.

Speaking on the vote, committee chairperson Annalize Van Wyk said the vote was backed by the ANC and opposed by all other parties.

“It was seven, three in favour of the ANC. The opposing parties involved in the vote were the Freedom Front Plus, DA and ACDP.”

Nevertheless, Burger said the Ipid needed a clear cut leader given the number of criminal cases being investigated against the police.

“This would be s a problematic appointment if it does go through.”

He said “it was a pity” that there was no space for input from NGO’s or the public on the post.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said McBride’s role in Umkhonto we Sizwe, had left “a lot of people aggrieved, particularly those who are white”.

“They will continue judging him until the day he dies. What else makes him unfit? He won a case against him he was cleared why must he be continued to be judged?”

Declining to expand on the detail, Burger said he had seen a short list for the Ipid post which proved that there were a number of other “highly qualified” candidates – two with exemplary experience.

“They proved themselves elsewhere and knew the police extremely well, and are uncontroversial with clean records.

“They would have brought confidence and trust to that position, but unfortunately those candidates were ignored and McBride was chosen, even though he only has one thing counting in his favour as metro police chief.”

Expert forensic investigator Paul O Sullivan charged that Ipid was known to have “whitewashed” his own investigation of former national police commissioner and Interpol president Jackie Selebi, by giving him a clean bill of health.

“What Ipid needs is to start being more transparent in its investigations. If McBride is going to do the job, he should come see me, there are so many dirty generals, it’s clear that Ipid is not functioning correctly.”

In the “spirit of transparency”, the African Policing Oversight Forum had requested to Parliament last year, to “make an oral presentation to the Portfolio Committee on the issues raised in these submissions”.

“We respectfully urge the portfolio committee to request that the Minister provides the rationale for the nomination and clarifies the criteria used.”

The request was not granted.


today in print