McBride ax­ing dead­line looms

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - CRAIG DODDS

PAR­LIA­MENT’s po­lice over­sight com­mit­tee has done an about-turn and agreed to con­sider a re­quest from Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko to in­sti­tute pro­ceed­ings to re­move Robert McBride as head of the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Directorate (Ipid).

The re­quest was re­ferred to the com­mit­tee in Par­lia­ment’s An­nounce­ments, Tablings and Com­mit­tee Re­ports (ATC) doc­u­ment on Thurs­day, but chair­man Fran­cois Beuk­man said it was his un­der­stand­ing that it could con­sider the mat­ter only af­ter it had been re­ferred to the com­mit­tee by a res­o­lu­tion in the Na­tional Assem­bly.

This was also the view of a le­gal opin­ion ob­tained by Speaker Baleka Mbete, who wrote to the min­is­ter on Tues­day to in­form him it was un­likely Par­lia­ment would be able to deal with his re­quest be­fore the ex­piry of a 30-day dead­line set by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court.

This was be­cause the next sit­ting of the House was sched­uled only for Oc­to­ber 25, a week af­ter the dead­line, and it would there­fore not be pos­si­ble for a res­o­lu­tion to be passed in time, Mbete wrote. Yes­ter­day, how­ever, the com­mit­tee dis­cussed the mat­ter and agreed to con­sider it on Tues­day. Beuk­man said af­ter the meet­ing that although Nh­leko’s re­quest had not been re­ferred to the com­mit­tee by way of a res­o­lu­tion, it had been for­mally re­ferred in the ATC and could not be ig­nored.

There was also a view that rule 227 of the Na­tional Assem­bly rules im­posed an obli­ga­tion on the com­mit­tee to con­sider a mat­ter re­ferred to it.

Robert McBride

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