Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office on Wednesday said in a letter to former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride’s attorney they would not oppose McBride and several others’ urgent application to suspend the enforcement of remedial action in the public protector’s report against him.
McBride, Ipid’s Matthews Sesoko and six others had filed their application on Tuesday with the ultimate aim of taking the report on judicial review.
Mkwhebane last week found that the police watchdog irregularly appointed Theresa Botha as a deputy director.
Botha, according to Mkhwebane, was appointed to a post that had never existed in August 2017. The complaint was lodged with Mkhwebane’s office in June 2018 by former Ipid investigator Cedrick Nkabinde.
Mkhwebane found that she received a salary from Ipid in excess of R1,174,873. The continuous payment of the salary amounted to cumulative and irregular expenditure and was found to be a violation, she said.
She said the allegations of maladministration at Ipid over the irregular appointment of Botha by McBride were substantiated.
She also found the whistleblower was unfairly suspended.
The public protector’s head of legal services, Alfred Mhlongo, said in their letter today that it was normal practice for the office not to oppose interim orders suspending the enforcement of remedial action.
Mkhwebane has, however, deviated from this practice with respect to other cases, particularly with her findings against Minister Pravin Gordhan.
The public protector’s office is in the process of instructing a legal team to defend the report and its remedial action, in the hopes that the case can also be expedited.