Who will replace Robert McBride as Ipid head?

Police committee chairperson Francois Beukman said whoever replaces McBride will have to be a fit for the job and adequately qualified.

FILE: Robert McBride. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's police committee wants to start the process to find a replacement for Independent Police Investigating Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride.

But this decision could be delayed, pending McBride's court challenge to have the committee's decision not to renew his contract set aside.

McBride has asked the Gauteng High Court to declare the committee's decision unlawful. Police committee chairperson Francois Beukman said whoever replaces McBride will have to be a fit for the job and adequately qualified.

The committee will now invite Police Minister Bheki Cele to nominate an acting head of Ipid.

“So, we will invite the minister of police if that process unfolds of an acting appointment to come to the portfolio committee, to motivate his decisions and reasons for appointing that suitable person in the acting position.”

Beukman said there are already a number of suggestions from organisations on who could replace McBride.

“There are various suggestions by various institutions that made submissions, but there should be proper requirements and here should be proper diligence followed.”

MCBRIDE'S TENURE

Members of Parliament have ensured McBride does not return to the watchdog body for a second five-year term. The controversial figure has ruffled many a top policeman's feathers, having investigated both former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and current commissioner Khehla Sitole.

McBride’s legal team has confirmed it will take the portfolio committee's decision on review.

From the day McBride was appointed, he courted controversy by immediately rejecting the then well-held belief that Hawks bosses Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya had orchestrated a plan to unlawfully deport Zimbabwean suspects.

As has now become evident, the rendition narrative pushed by theSunday Times was used as the pretext by former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to remove both Dramat and Sibiya.

The pair were at the time leading investigations into former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

Nhleko then turned on the Ipid boss and had him suspended, which prompted a review application which went all the way to the apex court.

While McBride initiated numerous controversial investigations, perhaps his most significant achievement is having secured constitutional protection for Ipid from political interference, which may also be key to the decision not to renew his contract.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)