SA is a transparent democracy – SOTYU

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

South Africa is a transparent democracy in which everyone is held accountable, Police Deputy Minister Makhotso Sotyu said on Wednesday.

“We have the Human Rights Commission, the Competition Commission, the Public Protector, ICASA, the Auditor General, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and many others,” Sotyu said in a speech prepared for delivery at an Ipid strategic planning session in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“Is there a country in which government and its institutions are held accountable to the extent that it happens in South Africa? Ours is a very transparent democracy in which everyone is held accountable.”

Sotyu said Ipid’s core mandate was to make all South Africans feel safe and secure.

“Avoid getting involved in politics. Do not allow to be used by anyone to further political ends. You are not politicians. Be professionals and the citizens of this country will respect you for that,” she said.

Sotyu said that, according to Ipid’s 2012/2013 annual report, it had dealt with 6728 cases, which was 37 percent more than the 4923 handled in the previous year.

Earlier this month, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Cabinet had recommended the appointment of former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride to head Ipid.

“We believe Mr McBride’s appointment as head of Ipid will help this important institution to achieve [its]… mandate,” Mthethwa said at the time.

Mthethwa’s ministry said in a statement that Cabinet decided to recommend McBride as Ipid executive director at a meeting on November 6.

“In terms of Section 6(2) of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act, 2011 (Act 1 of 2011) the relevant portfolio committee of Parliament must now consider the recommendation before the appointment can be confirmed,” the ministry said.

“Ipid has been headed by an acting executive director for almost a year, and the stability of this important institution is crucial.”

Opposition parties have criticised the decision to recommend McBride.

McBride, who is a former MP and government official, won an appeal in March against a conviction for drunken driving and attempting to obstruct justice. He was arrested in 2006 after crashing his official car on the R511 following a Christmas party.

In September 2011, a Pretoria magistrate sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment for driving under the influence of alcohol, and in effect three years’ imprisonment for attempting to obstruct the course of justice.

In 1998, McBride was arrested in Mozambique on charges of gun-running. He spent seven months in a Maputo prison and was later cleared of all charges. He claimed he was investigating illegal gun-running with the National Intelligence Agency.

In 1999, McBride faced an assault charge after he, underworld boss Cyril Beeka, and another man visited an escort agency and allegedly assaulted an employee.

McBride was part of an Umkhonto we Sizwe group that bombed the Why Not Restaurant and Magoo’s Bar in Durban on June 14, 1986. Three people were killed and 69 were injured in the explosion. He was captured and convicted, and was sentenced to death.

In 1992, he was released after his actions were classified as politically motivated. He was later granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.



today in print