Police Minister Bheki Cele has appointed Victor Ofenste Senna, who currently is chief financial officer (CFO) of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), the directorate’s acting head. His appointment is with immediate effect.
This came as former Ipid head Robert McBride’s contract was not renewed by Cele and his tenure came to an end yesterday. McBride is fighting the matter in court.
Mr Senna (40) was appointed as the CFO of Ipid in February 2018.
The 40-year-old Senna previously served as chief director of budget and revenue at the Gauteng department of health for two years; and prior to that as general manager finance at the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa). Senna gained experience in his early managerial years while working as director for finance in the department of science and technology for eight years.
Cele has appointed Senna for a period of three months, and wishes him all of the best in his new role.
“All that is needed at this level of governance is wisdom and understanding in carrying the country’s fundamental mandate as directed by the constitution. Mr Senna must take priority in ensuring that Ipid remains independent and discharge its operational mandate accordingly without fear, favour or prejudice,” Cele said.
The police minister will be meeting with Ipid’s senior management as well as provincial heads in the coming week and on 6 March will meet with parliament’s portfolio committee of police to introduce Senna to members of the committee.
The appointment comes in the wake of Ipid effecting high-profile arrests today, including the former acting police commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane.
McBride and groups such as the Helen Suzman Foundation contend that there is a conflict of interest in allowing the police minister to appoint the head of Ipid, since he is in effect choosing the person who should be holding him to account.
They argue that there should be more “independence” in the “independent directorate”.