Suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride is expected to report for duty today, after Parliament’s portfolio committee for police failed to institute disciplinary action against him on Tuesday.
McBride’s return to the helm of the police watchdog body ends an almost 18-month suspension following a Constitutional Court ruling last month that his suspension had been unlawful.
The highest court in the land gave the national legislature 30 days to begin a disciplinary process to remove him from his post. The court found Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s power to unilaterally suspend and remove the Ipid head as contained in the organisation’s Act to be constitutionally invalid.
But Tuesday was the final day for such a process to begin. However, the committee’s chair Francois Beukman told MPs the “matter of public importance” would “fall away” because of legal advice he received over the weekend indicating that it wasn’t clear there needed to be a National Assembly resolution regarding his suspension and that it hadn’t been taken by the house.
The next sitting of the legislature is only expected to get under way on October 25.
McBride’s lawyer Jac Marais confirmed on Tuesday his client would be reporting for duty.
“As it stands‚ there are no disciplinary proceedings‚ and the decision to suspend was unlawful so he is going back to work tomorrow.”
McBride was suspended in March 2015 for allegedly altering an Ipid report involving a former national director of the police’s priority crime unit the Hawks, Anwa Dramat, and his Gauteng counterpart Shadrack Sibiya.
ALSO READ: Zizi is wrong – the ANC is divided
The pair, along with Lesley Maluleke, are facing charges of kidnapping, organised crime, violations of the Immigration Act and obstruction of justice for their alleged role in the extradition of Zimbabwean suspects without following due course.