McBride running out of options

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

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

There will be no reprieve for suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride.

This was evident after advocate Phillip Mokoena, chairman of the disciplinary committee set up to handle McBride’s disciplinary, dismissed his application to stay the hearing until the outcome of his Constitutional Court challenge against police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s power to institute proceedings.

Still, the fight may not be over yet.

“We still have to study the ruling by the disciplinary chair and then we’ll take appropriate steps,” said McBrides’s attorney Jac Marais.

“It might be that we take further steps in relation to this particular process.”

Marais would not comment if he felt McBride’s case was being pushed to be over and done as soon as possible. However, Marais did note he felt Nhleko had been acting with “uncharacteristic expedience” in this matter.

Nhleko was installed as police minister in May, 2014. He subsequently suspended national Hawks boss Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat in December followed in short order by Gauteng Hawks head Major General Shadrack Sibiya in January, and McBride in March of this year.

Dramat has since resigned with no charges pending, leaving Sibiya to battle his suspension by himself over allegations of rendition and McBride to battle allegations of doctoring the reports clearing Dramat and Sibiya.

Mokoena said in his finding the matter between Nhleko and former darling of the struggle McBride “is of a huge public importance” and it had attracted public interest.

“It will not be in the interest of justice and in the public interest for such an important matter to be stayed pending the outcome of the Constitutional Court which may only occur in a distant future,” Mokoena said.

McBride’s application is set down for argument on August 25.

“Should the matter be stayed pending the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court decisions, this would mean for the entire period the employee would remain on suspension with full pay and the employer will not be able to take any disciplinary measures against the employee,” Mokoena noted.

The other side to all this is that Sibiya’s legal success hangs on McBride being cleared of charges, as it was on the disputed report Nhleko ordered the Hawks acting head Major-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza to suspend Sibiya after Nhleko has suspended Dramat.

McBride has maintained the disputed report was only a progress report, while Nhleko says the follow-up report issued by McBride – which cleared Dramat and Sibiya – changed the findings of the original. – amandaw@citizen.co.za

 

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