McBride axing deadline looms
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.