Ramaphosa yet to sign Bill on Cele’s Ipid say


PRES­I­DENT Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet signed into law the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Di­rec­torate Bill al­most two months af­ter it was passed by leg­is­la­tors.

The new law pro­poses clip­ping Min­is­ter of Po­lice Bheki Cele’s pow­ers to sus­pend or fire the head of Ipid.

This em­anates from a Con­sti­tu­tional Court judg­ment in 2016 af­ter for­mer Ipid head Robert McBride had chal­lenged his sus­pen­sion by then min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko.

Af­ter work­ing on the bill for two years Par­lia­ment fi­nally passed it late last year and handed it to Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

The adop­tion of the bill came af­ter the na­tional leg­is­la­ture had missed the two-year dead­line set by the Con­sti­tu­tional Court in Septem­ber 2016.

Ramaphosa’s spokesper­son Khusela Diko did not re­spond to a mes­sage yes­ter­day.

But the new law has ef­fec­tively stripped Cele of the pow­ers to sus­pend or fire the head of Ipid which was caught in a bit­ter fight be­tween Nh­leko and McBride.

When McBride’s con­tract ended in March last year Cele did not re­new it and Par­lia­ment backed him.

Vic­tor Senna has been act­ing in the po­si­tion since and Cele has not ap­pointed a per­ma­nent head.

De­spite Par­lia­ment pass­ing the bill strip­ping the min­is­ter of po­lice of pow­ers to sus­pend or fire the Ipid boss, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court is pre­par­ing for an­other ap­pli­ca­tion be­tween civil so­ci­ety and the po­lice.

This re­lates to a chal­lenge that no politi­cian must play a role in the ap­point­ment of the head of Ipid.

Ipid was in­volved in a bit­ter fight with for­mer act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Kho­motso Phahlane. This saw the for­mer com­mis­sioner and McBride hav­ing heated ex­changes in the Na­tional As­sem­bly’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee meet­ing two years ago.

Var­i­ous al­le­ga­tions were traded on both sides.

McBride had served as Ipid boss for a full term of five years, but the po­lice com­mit­tee had de­cided against re­new­ing his con­tract.

McBride tried to push for the re­newal of his con­tract, but Cele told the com­mit­tee he was against it and the ma­jor­ity of ANC mem­bers voted against ex­tend­ing his con­tract.

The Ipid has been com­plain­ing for years about its poor bud­get to do its work. The en­tity was one of sev­eral govern­ment en­ti­ties that have faced ma­jor bud­get cuts from the Na­tional Trea­sury in re­cent times.

The Min­is­ter of Fi­nance will in­di­cate next month whether there has been an in­crease in the al­lo­ca­tion to en­ti­ties.

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