Nhleko dismisses claims he's prejudged McBride

The police minister has dismissed the Ipid head’s claims he’s prejudged the disciplinary matter against him.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has dismissed Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride's claims that he has prejudged the disciplinary matter against him as speculative and wrong.

This is contained in the minister's affidavit submitted in the High Court in Pretoria.

His legal team is expected to file full heads of argument on Monday.

The Ipid head approached the court to interdict the minister from suspending him.

Nhleko gave him two days to explain why he should not be removed from his post.

At the centre of the dispute is an IPID report that has cleared two senior Hawks officers of their involvement of the rendition of five Zimbabwean suspects in 2010.

Advocate William Mokhari says McBride pre-empted the minister's decision and he should have approached the court after the disciplinary process was concluded.

He added that while McBride is entitled to argue that the provisions used to suspend him are unconstitutional, until they are declared such, they can be used.

Advocate Steven Budlender says this causes irreparable harm to Ipid.

"The minister's threatened conduct constitutes an unconstitutional political interference in Ipid. Protecting the independent functioning of Ipid requires a court interdict."

The court will make a ruling on Wednesday.