Robert McBride vs Thuli Madonsela

Rhoda Kadalie says the Public Protector is the antithesis of the nominee for IPID head

O, to be a fly on the wall when President Jacob Zuma recommended to his cabinet that Robert McBride be appointed the next head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. This liberation fighter, who has blood on his hands, and a string of serious misdemeanours to his name, is proposed to be THE police watchdog. This is the height of cynicism and in the same league as the Richard Mdluli recommendation that was set aside by Judge John Murphy.

Although McBride received amnesty from the Truth Commission for having bombed the Why Not Restaurant and Magoo's Bar in Durban in 1986 killing three people and injuring 69 people, his subsequent behaviour proves that he has no place holding the police accountable and that amnesty for murderous activity is often questionable for people who fail to distinguish between what is legal and what is legitimate.

Lest we forget, McBride, as an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1998, was also charged with gun running by Mozambican police. He allegedly made his mark as a regular guest of escort agencies, and in his post as Ekhuruleni Metro Police Chief has had many charges of inebriation and assault levelled at him.

This man epitomises the rot that has become inscribed in the DNA of the ruling party. What worries me most is that ‘honourable' ministers like Trevor Manuel, Lindiwe Sisulu, Naledi Pandor, Pravin Gordhan and a few others must surely have misgivings about this recommendation? Where is their voice? Does their acquiescence not make them culpable? Or have they subjugated their opinions on the matter as senior members of the cabinet for 30 pieces of silver? Or is it simply that the voices of the ‘honourable' cannot withstand the omnipotent Intelligence and Crime ministerial cluster in the cabinet who is in the bosom of Jacob Zuma?

Having recently read that awful book on Glenn Agliotti, I was reminded again how embedded many of the ruling elite is with the criminal elite of this country. Having accepted freebies from the top crooks of this country, makes the powerful bound to those in involved in crime. Adept at keeping "incest in the family", the ANC's descent into the sewer of corruption has become inevitable.

Thanks to the success of the Freedom Under the Law's legal challenges to his appointment, Richard Mdluli did not make it. The appointment of Robert McBride is clearly the President's revenge against those who continually challenge his appointments. In the ANC's scheme of things, the status quo can only be maintained when those who are mired in dirt occupy senior state positions.

McBride is the antithesis of Advocate Thuli Madonsela whose struggle trajectory as a young activist lawyer is impeccable. She helped to shape the Constitution as a gender equality activist and a human rights lawyer, having cut her political teeth as a trade union advisor. She did not have to bomb her way to righteousness.

The McBride recommendation is a serious indicator of where the ANC is prepared to take this country. Putinesque in the extreme, it makes the Zanufication of South Africa a first step towards its decline and the ANC's total onslaught against our much-admired Public Protector, has exposed their criminal intentions for the world to see.

Those who govern us hate checks and balances and detest being held accountable. In fact they hate the Constitution. As a nation we should be extremely worried, very worried. This move alone should jolt us out of our lethargy to mount our own African Spring!

This article first appeared in Die Burger.

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