Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride. File Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Parliament - Police Minister Bheki Cele has missed his self-imposed deadline of September to appoint a permanent head to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

The watchdog body has now had an acting head - Victor Senna - for 232 days, DA MP and police matters spokesman Andrew Whitfield said.

"It has also been 81 days since the minister told Parliament that that this crucial institution would have a permanent head by September this year. Today is the last day of September and the institution is still without a permanent head," Whitfield added.

He said Ipid could not fulfill its mandate of fighting corruption within the ranks of the South African Police Service (SAPS) without strong leadership.

"The Ipid Half Year Report outlines that during the period of April-September 2018, only 894 out of 6,153 cases were completed. This translates to a worrisome 14.5 percent completed cases of the total cases reported to them."

Whitfield said Ipid remained under-resourced and capacitated. Its current staff component of 2,519 members and big case backlog undermined its ability "to be an effective watchdog in holding our police accountable, and it hampers efforts to create an honest and professional police service," he said.

"The DA will once more agitate for the placement of a committed, independent and decisive leader as its head. South Africans deserve an honest and professional police service, which in part requires the oversight and investigation of police wrongdoing to be effective."

Ipid's last permanent head was Robert McBride, whose politically stormy tenure ended on July 31.

African News Agency/ANA