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PARLIAMENT - The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill which is expected to give greater independence to South Africa's police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

The Ipid Amendment Bill gives effect to a Constitutional Court judgment that the police minister was given too much power to suspend or remove the the directorate's head.

The bill makes provision for the Ipid head to be suspended only via a two-thirds majority vote in the National Assembly

It is seen as a move to prevent political interference in the operations of the Ipid.

In 2015, then police minister Nathi Nhleko suspended current Ipid head Robert McBride, who took the matter to the Constitutional court, which ruled his suspension unconstitutional, and ordered Parliament to bring the Ipid Act in line with the Constitution.

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African News Agency (ANA)