The case against Nhleko grows as McBride returns to work
19 October 2016
Today the Democratic Alliance welcomes the return of the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Robert McBride, to work to resume his duties.
This represents a blow to the rampant political capture of key institutions that has been driven by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and is a victory for constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in particular.
While Minister Nhleko regrettably succeeded in his agenda of political capture of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI), better known as the Hawks, the return of the Head of the IPID today is a spanner in the works for this Minister who has fallen foul of the law so many times.
Minister Nhleko’s blatant disregard for the law makes him manifestly unfit for the position he holds and the DA have called repeatedly for him to be removed from office.
It was a fait accompli that McBride would be back on duty today based on the Speaker of the National Assembly’s (NA) response to Minister Nhleko’s request to initiate disciplinary proceedings against McBride, given that no Committee was empowered to do so until there had been a two-thirds House resolution.
While the IPID Executive Director may have an alleged prima facie case to answer, Minister Nhleko will now be forced to pursue a fair and constitutionally compliant process in this regard, as he should have done from the outset.
It is in fact the DA’s contention that the Minister himself is the larger and more fundamental issue to be looked at and it is he who now has a case to answer.
With Minister Nhleko’s previous suspension of McBride having been set aside as unlawful, invalid and unconstitutional, we believe that the Minister’s action puts him in contravention of section 33(1) of the IPID Act, which makes “[a]ny person…who interferes, hinders or obstructs the Executive Director in the exercise or performance of his or her powers and functions…guilty of an offence…”
Each time Minister Nhleko breaks the law, the case for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into his fitness to hold office is steadily building and the DA will pursue all avenues to ensure he is held accountable for his repeated and continued misconduct.
Issued by Zakhele Mbhele, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 19 October 2016