IPID will not grind to a halt without McBride - Bheki Cele

Minister says in court papers there's no reason for "extreme urgency" of litigation in matter

'IPID will not grind to a halt without McBride', Cele says in court papers

8 February 2019

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) will not "grind to a halt" without its executive director Robert McBride when his term ends at the end of February this year, Police Minister Bheki Cele argues in court papers.

In papers filed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Cele argues that McBride's application to fight for his job is premature and moot.

McBride has filed an urgent application, asking the court to declare Cele's decision not to renew his appointment as IPID executive director "unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid".

However, Cele argues: "IPID will not grind to a halt without him. An acting director will do just fine while the National Assembly and the portfolio committee decides whether to confirm or reject my preliminary decision."

Cele said if his decision was confirmed, the post would be advertised and that nothing was stopping McBride from applying.

He also added that if his preliminary decision was rejected, then McBride's term would be renewed, and he would still get his full five-year term.

The police minister also said he had informed McBride that he would be forwarding his decision to the parliamentary portfolio committee for its consideration.

"The same day, I wrote to the chairperson of the portfolio committee and asked the committee to either confirm or reject my decision not to renew the term of office of Mr McBride."

"On 4 February 2019, the speaker of the National Assembly sent me a letter in which she confirms that my role as minister is to 'make recommendations to the National Assembly regarding the non-renewal'.

Cele said there was no reason for the "extreme urgency" of litigation in the matter.

"I deny that this application is urgent and deny that McBride will not obtain substantial redress in a hearing in the ordinary course. I deny that the decision to renew or not to renew can only be taken by the portfolio committee," he said.

Cele also denied that he had "prevented" the portfolio committee from making a decision on whether or not to renew McBride's term.

However, in his affidavit, McBride states: "In light of the minister's conduct and given that my term of office expires on 28 February 2019, I have been left with no option but to approach the court for urgent relief."

He said this was necessary to ensure that the portfolio committee was given the opportunity to consider and make a determination on whether his term of office should be renewed.

"The matter is unquestionably urgent," McBride said.

"It is critical that the portfolio committee decides the matter before 28 February 2019. If this does not occur then my term of office will lapse due to the minister's unlawful and unconstitutional conduct."