Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has written a letter to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, requesting her to establish an inquiry into the head of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Robert McBride.
McBride had been suspended for almost 18-months before returning to work last month for allegedly altering an Ipid report exonerating former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat and his colleagues in the illegal rendition of several Zimbabwean suspects.
Nhleko has called on Mbete to expedite the process that would enable him to suspend McBride for the alleged misconduct.
“Once this process has commenced, I will be in a position to suspend him for the alleged misconduct, and the prosecutor will be in a position to reinstate the criminal charges against him,” Nhleko said in his letter dated November 10, 2016.
The request by the minister appeared in parliament’s Announcements, Tablings and Committee reports published on Friday.
“Request by minister of police following Constitutional Court ruling on Ipid executive director (1). A letter dated 10 November 2016 has been received from the minister of police, requesting the Assembly to mandate the Portfolio Committee on police to consider exercising its powers in terms of subsections 17DA(3) to 17DA(7) of the South African Police Services Act, 1995 (No 68 of 1995), as read into section 6(6) of the Independent Police Investigative Act, 2011 (No 1 of 2011) by the Constitutional Court in its order in McBride v Minister of Police and Another  ZACC 30,” Mbete said.
In September, the Constitutional Court declared McBride’s suspension unlawful and ordered parliament to take disciplinary steps against him within 30 days, but the matter fell away.
Speaking to News24 on Friday, Nhleko’s spokesperson, Sandile Ngidi, said the minister wanted the inquiry to be established because the process was abandoned by parliament.
“The matter has been left unresolved. And if the situation continues as it is, it makes the working relationship between the minister and the Ipid head relatively difficult. For both parties, it is an impasse,” he said.
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According to the South African Police Service Act, the head of Ipid can be removed from his post on the basis of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence based on findings by a committee of the National Assembly. In this case, the portfolio committee on police.
McBride may also be removed from office at any time upon the start of the proceedings of a committee of the National Assembly.