McBride wants independence from political interference

The Ipid boss has asked the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the police minister from suspending him.

Robert McBride in the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

PRETORIA - The defence team for Independent Investigative Police Directorate (Ipid) head, Robert McBride, has argued he should have the same independence from political interference as the head of the Hawks.

Mcbride has approached the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the police minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko, from suspending him.

At the centre of the dispute is Ipid's report into the illegal deportation of five Zimbabweans in 2010.

Nhleko served McBride with a notice of intention to suspend him two days ago for alleged misconduct.

Advocate Steven Budlender says this is not an employment dispute but a serious case concerning the independence of the police watchdog.

He says if the Ipid head were to be suspended it would cause severe harm to the unit.

Budlender says by virtue of its mandate Ipid should be independent of the police.

The advocate referred to past court judgments setting out the independence of the Hawks.

Last month the court declared Anwa Dramat's suspension unlawful because of those judgments.