Police Minister Nhleko Falls Out With Baleka Mbete In Fresh Battle

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Police minister Nathi Nhleko on Thursday lashed out at National Speaker Baleka Mbete after the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) confirmed that its head, Robert McBride, has returned to work.

McBride, a long-time rival of Nhleko returned to work on Wednesday following a decision by Parliament’s police committee not to institute disciplinary action against him.

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In August, the minister had written to Mbete pleading with her to open an inquiry into Ipid head McBride – an action which many believe would empower Nhleko to suspend Robert McBride again.

However, the Constitutional Court in September flung away Nhleko’s request, declared McBride’s suspension invalid and ordered him to return to work. This court victory accounts for his resumption to work as Ipid head on Wednesday.

Reacting to the development on Wednesday, the minister slammed Mbete and Parliament police committee for not opening an inquiry into McBride, as requested. He also blamed Parliament for not tackling the issue on time.



He further queried Mbete in his statement, asking why his letter dated 7 September 2016, was only responded to on 11 October 2016, even though the sitting of the House rose on 15 September 2016.

In response, Mbete said she noted the statement by the police minister with “grave concern”. Speaking in a statement, the National Speaker condemned Nhleko’s backlashes.

She said:

“The statement‚ in its totality‚ raises serious concerns and casts aspersions on Parliamentary processes. This is unprecedented‚ unwarranted and unfortunate. Parliament operates on the basis of rules and set processes and these were followed in this regard.”

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In addition, she promised to push the matter over Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and also table it to the leader of government business as a matter of urgency.

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