Sunday , January 24 2021

McBride vs Cele: The court awaits the decision of the police portfolio committee

Robert McBride remains in limbo as to whether he can continue as head of the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID).

This after a settlement agreement was reached on Tuesday in a lawsuit, McBride embarked on Police Minister Bheki Cele.

In a draft order handed over to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, the parties agreed that the decision Cele had taken not to renew McBride's mandate as an IPID director was a provisional decision still to be confirmed or rejected by the Portfolio Committee for the police.

"It is recorded that the other respondent (portfolio committee) intends to decide on the renewal of [McBride]'S appointment on or before February 28, "read the order.

The case was postponed to the urgency and was suspended on February 26.


The Portfolio Committee was asked to make an announcement on progress by 22 February.

Judge Wendy Hughes gave the order Tuesday afternoon.

McBride filed an urgent application and asks the court to declare Cele's decision not to renew its appointment as "unconstitutional, illegal and invalid".

But the civil rights organization Helen Suzman Foundation, which was admitted as a friend of the court (amicus curiae), protested against the settlement, neither the minister nor the portfolio committee should be allowed to decide on McBride's designation.

"This order should not have your ladyship blessings," Max du Plessis told.

As for Cele's decision, Du Plessis said "everyone agrees that it was wrong".

As for the portfolio committee, Du Plessis said in a statement that the committee said it would not be premature because its decision could end up being reviewed.

He said the foundation was not sure the portfolio committee was taking a position on the case.

But lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who represented Cele, argued that the minister was of the opinion that his decision was not final.


He also told the court that the portfolio committee complained about a hasty decision and that the draft order dealt with its concerns.

In his affidavit, McBride says, "In the light of the minister's behavior and given that my term of office expires on February 28, 2019, I have been unable to approach the emergency emergency court."

He said this was necessary to ensure that the portfolio committee was given the opportunity to consider and decide whether to renew his term of office.

"It is critical that the portfolio committee decide on the matter before February 28, 2019. If this does not happen, my term of office will lapse due to the minister's illegal and constitutional conduct."


In cases filed in the High Court in Pretoria, Cele argued that McBride's application was premature and met.

Cele also said: "IPID will not stop without him. A acting director will do well while the National Assembly and the Portfolio Committee decide to confirm or reject my provisional decision."

Cele said if his decision was confirmed, the post would be announced and nothing stopped McBride from using.

He also added that if his preliminary decision was rejected, McBride would be renewed term and would still have his full five-year term.

Cele also refused to have "prevented" the Portfolio Committee from deciding whether or not McBride's mandate should be renewed.

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