McBride: Public trust in Ipid’s independence is essential

The Ipid head says his suspension has shaken public confidence & could deter people from reporting corruption.

Ipid head Robert McBride approaches the High Court in Pretoria, on 13 March 2015, to interdict Police Minister Nathi Nhleko from suspending him. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride says his suspension has shaken public confidence in the watchdog body, and he will ask a court to declare the decision unlawful and invalid.

The details are contained in an affidavit McBride has submitted in his latest court challenge of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's powers.

Nhleko suspended McBride last month, claiming that he would interfere in an investigation he has commissioned into the existence of two Zimbabwe rendition reports.

McBride says his suspension sends a strong message to Ipid investigators that any investigations that cause embarrassment to the minister or other high-ranking officials will be punished by the minister.

He says public trust in the independence of Ipid is essential for the directorate to operate.

McBride says if the public does not trust Ipid, they will not be inclined to report corruption and other abuses that implicate high-ranking, politically connected members of the police.

He says Ipid is currently pursuing several sensitive investigations involving high-ranking members of the police suspected of abusing their positions to protect criminal syndicates.

The matter is expected to be heard in court within the next two weeks.