Mbete, Nh­leko in heated clash

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

DEPUTY Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has been caught in the mid­dle of a pub­lic row be­tween Speaker Baleka Mbete and Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko, over the min­is­ter’s at­tempts to re­move In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate head Robert McBride.

Mbete hit back yes­ter­day af­ter Nh­leko ac­cused her ear­lier in the week of not tak­ing se­ri­ously his re­quest for McBride to be dis­ci­plined, say­ing she would ap­proach Ramaphosa “as a mat­ter of ur­gency”.

Nh­leko had com­plained that his re­quest had been re­sponded to only a month af­ter he wrote to Mbete, when she wrote back say­ing there was no time for Par­lia­ment to deal with it be­fore the ex­piry of a 30-day dead­line set by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court.

A fu­ri­ous Nh­leko said it was “ex­tremely con­cern­ing” that “in a mat­ter as se­ri­ous such as this where hu­man and African lives were lost, we are ex­pe­rien- cing a set of be­hav­iour which negates the sever­ity of this mat­ter”.

He was re­fer­ring to the death in cus­tody of Zim­bab­weans who had al­legedly been un­law­fully rounded up and handed to the neigh­bour­ing state’s po­lice by the Hawks.

The min­is­ter claims McBride al­tered the find­ings of an Ipid in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port on the mat­ter to pro­tect Hawks head Anwa Dra­mat and his Gaut­eng coun­ter­part, Shadrack Sibiya.

He and Par­lia­ment were given 30 days to be­gin a mis­con­duct hear­ing against McBride, if they wished to do so, af­ter the Con­sti­tu­tional Court found the min­is­ter’s power to sus­pend and re­move the Ipid head to be a threat to the direc­torate’s in­de­pen­dence.

The court set aside McBride’s sus­pen­sion, but sus­pended the ef­fect of the or­der un­til the 30 days had lapsed.

He re­turned to work on Wed­nes­day af­ter Par­lia­ment de­clined to process Nh­leko’s re­quest, with Mbete telling the min­is­ter in her let­ter that le­gal opin­ion had ad­vised her it could be done only by way of a res­o­lu­tion of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, which would not sit in time to pass.

craig.dodds@inl.co.za

Cyril Ramaphosa

Baleka Mbete

Nathi Nh­leko

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