A request by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko that Parliament institutes a disciplinary process against Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride has fallen away.
The police committee was on Tuesday due to discuss McBride’s fate, but after reviewing legal opinion over the weekend, committee chairperson Francois Beukman clarified the matter.
There needed to be a resolution in the National Assembly for any committee of Parliament to deal with the matter, he said.
“And there is no House resolution, so the matter falls away. And that is that.”
This after the Constitutional Court set aside a decision by Nhleko to institute a disciplinary hearing against McBride.
In September, the Constitutional Court declared McBride’s suspension invalid.
However, the order was suspended for 30 days in order for the National Assembly and Nhleko to exercise their powers.
The 30 day suspension expires today.
A case to answer
Nhleko wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete asking for parliamentary intervention in the matter. His letter was dated September 7.
The Speaker referred the matter to Parliament’s police committee in October.
In his letter to Parliament, Nhleko called for the committee to consider the matter and adopt a resolution on whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings against McBride.
This would be on the grounds of allegations contained in the charge sheet, or on any other grounds the committee deemed appropriate.
In his view, the minister said, he was satisfied that there was a case of gross misconduct for McBride to answer to before the committee or a disciplinary committee authorised by the National Assembly.
“The uncertainty surrounding the misconduct allegations against McBride only serves to damage the integrity of Ipid and its independence. The sooner these allegations are dealt with and finalised the better for the public confidence on Ipid,” he said.
If the committee does not initiate disciplinary proceedings against McBride within 30 days of the judgment, McBride’s suspension will lapse automatically.