Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Jason Boud
Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Jason Boud

As storm brews over Cele nominee, MPs commit to fixing law governing appointment of Ipid head

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Cape Town - MPs have committed to speeding up the amendment of the legislation governing the appointment of the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

This emerged when the portfolio committee on police met on Wednesday to consider the report on the approval of nomination of Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as the head of the police watchdog body.

The meeting was held against the backdrop of reports that the committee had not interviewed Ntlatseng and had not received the vetting report on her, among others.

Last week, the committee approved her nomination after Police Minister Bheki Cele made a presentation on the nomination as the current legislation empowered him to do so although the courts had previously directed that the Ipid Act be amended.

Speaking at the meeting, committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Petterssen said it was their desire to interview candidates for the top post like other portfolio committees did with boards of entities reporting to and also establish their own criteria of interviews.

"If we could we will make sure that it is included and there is more clarity," she said.

She, however, noted that they did not have the opportunity to interview Ntlatseng.

Joemat-Petetrssen insisted that the committee had been furnished with the CV of the preferred candidate and preliminary vetting report, among others.

"Yes, we have to speed up the process. We hope we can do that as soon as possible," she added.

DA MP Okkie Terblanche said there was an urgent need to make an amendment to the Ipid Act.

"I am not happy with the process followed ... It is not a proper process," Terblanche said in reference to Cele submitting a name of candidate to the committee

Freedom Front MP Petrus Groenewald also agreed that the Act needed to be amended to allow the portfolio committee to conduct interviews for the appointment of the Ipid head.

"In terms of the rules of Parliament and portfolio we have a right to say we make a decision to reject or approve," Groenewald said.

He also said the rules provided for the committee to come up with its own amendment

"If it takes too long for the minister, we can start our own process as the committee," Groenewald said.

Terbanche said his colleague Andrew Whitfield is ready with his own Private Member's Bill and would submit it shortly.

ANC MP Jacqui Mofokeng said the committee should set up a timeframe upon which the Ipid Act should be amended.

"We should commit ourselves to say in five or six months we should have it on the table," Mofokeng said.

Political Bureau

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