The DA shadow minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele says the Police Minister Nhleko’s request for Parliament to initiate removal proceedings against IPID Executive Director, Robert McBride, may be premature.
According to the party, the minister might be jumping the gun in terms of fair and just procedure when it pushed for the parliament to initiate plans to get rid of PID Executive Director, Robert McBride.
The Minister’s request was conveyed in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly that was tabled in this morning’s ATC.
In the letter, the minister was requesting a parliamentary enquiry into McBride’s fitness to hold office. He asked that the parliament initiate the removal proceedings based on sections 17DA(3) to 17DA(5) of the SAPS Act, as currently read into the IPID Act.
But, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele said the DA will write to Speaker Baleka Mbete, urging that she obtain legal advice concerning both the shortcomings of the Minister’s request and the soundness of our alternative proposal for how this matter should be handled.
“There are constitutional principles at stake and any actions taken must be based on due process and done uncompromisingly by the book.” said Mbhele
In September, the Constitutional Court said that the Police Minister had no authority to summarily suspend McBride without Parliament instituting the necessary processes. Nut the DA believes that the enquiry, based on the Rules of the National Assembly, which would receive representations from both the Minister and McBride would be a more appropriate first step in response to the Minister’s request.
This, according to the party, is because parliamentary proceedings, based on sections 17DA(3) to 17DA(5) of the SAPS Act, as currently read into the IPID Act, presuppose an intended end – removal from office – as opposed to being an open-ended process that could result in any outcome.
“For this to be just and fair, there would first need to have been a finding of wrongdoing by McBride which is currently not an established fact,” Mbhele added.
The DA therefore noted that it would not allow Parliament to be undermined by the Minister thinking that this matter is a question of him simply telling the legislature when and how high to jump.