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ISS surprised by McBride nomination

The ISS says while McBride is qualified for the job, he also comes with a history of controversy.

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police still has to confirm Robert McBride's appointment as head of the IPID. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on Tuesday said it is surprised by the nomination of Robert McBride to head the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

It says it would've expected a candidate without baggage to get the job.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Department of Police confirmed reports that Cabinet recommended McBride for the position.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police still has to confirm the appointment.

The ISS's Johan Burger says while McBride is qualified for the job, he also comes with a history of controversy.

"I think his nomination for this position is a little surprising."

Burger says there could also be a positive side to his nomination.

"The public needs to have confidence in the complete independence of IPID," he said. "There is the advantage that if he's strongly connected politically that he should be able to stand his ground."

HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY

The former Ekurhuleni metro police chief is a controversial figure.

He was accused of assault at an escort agency and was arrested for gunrunning in Mozambique.

In 2006, he was arrested after he crashed his official car on the R511 following a Christmas party.

McBride was convicted of drunk driving.

However, the judgment was later overturned and he was acquitted of the charge in April this year.

McBride was also granted amnesty during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for his role in the 1986 Magoo's Bar bombing in Durban.

GIVE MCBRIDE A CHANCE

The Police Ministry says McBride should be given a chance as he's the ideal candidate for the position.

It insists McBride is the right person for the job, saying he's been cleared of any charges against him in court.

The ministry said McBride emerged as the ideal candidate for the position after a shortlisting process which was then followed by a panel interview.

Department spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the panel, which included several Cabinet ministers, did not take the decision lightly.

"Let's deal with facts. The fact is that he was not handpicked - there was a process of interviews. I think people deserve a chance."

Mnisi added, "As far as we are aware, McBride was cleared of any case which was in court, so that was also taken into consideration."

A number of opposition parties have slammed the nomination.

Opposition Members of Parliament promised to oppose the move in the National Assembly.

McBride has experience as a metro police chief and as a diplomat.

He holds several qualifications, including an honours degree in policing.