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McBride nomination slammed

Robert McBride's nomination as head of the IPID has been slammed by opposition parties.

Opposition parties have slammed the Police Ministry's recommendation of Robert McBride as head of IPID. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - There's been widespread condemnation and opposition to the Police Minister's nomination of Robert McBride as head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Yesterday, the Police Ministry confirmed reports that Cabinet recommended McBride for the position.

It's now up to Parliament's Portfolio Committee to confirm the appointment.

The Democratic Alliance says it will oppose McBride's appointment in Parliament while lobby group AfriForum wants Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to resign for nominating him.

The Freedom Front Plus says the recommendation makes a farce and mockery of Mthethwa's commitment to eradicating corruption within the police.

The Inkatha Freedom Party wants an independent panel to be appointed to oversee the appointment of the IPID's director.

Opposition parties will have an opportunity to oppose the recommendation in Parliament.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on Tuesday said it is surprised by McBride's nomination.

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

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

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

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

GIVE MCBRIDE A CHANCE

The Police Ministry has defended the recommendation and said McBride should be given a chance as he's the ideal candidate for the position.

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."

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

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

HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY

The former Ekurhuleni metro police chief also has a history of controversy

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.

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