Robert McBride File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - The head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Robert McBride is playing his cards close to his chest on his next move in the fight with Police Minister Bheki Cele over the termination of his employment contract.

This is happening as Parliament has yet to consider whether or not to renew or extend his term of office.

Cele wrote to McBride informing him that he had decided not to renew or extend his employment contract as executive director of Ipid.

He advised him that his last official working day would be February 28.

But McBride wrote back to him last Thursday demanding that the minister withdraw his statement and also request the police portfolio committee to take a decision on whether or not to renew his term of office.

He then threatened to approach the high court for relief should Cele not respond positively to his request and also demanded written reasons for Cele’s decision by the following day.

His letter was copied to Speaker Baleka Mbete, ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and the police portfolio committee.

In his reply, Cele said he did not intend to remove McBride from office but his term would expire on February 28.

“I have been advised that based on governing labour law principles you cannot claim any right or legitimate expectation to the renewal of your contract.

“My decision not to renew your employment contract will be forwarded to the relevant portfolio committee for consideration,” Cele wrote.

McBride would not be drawn yesterday into commenting on Cele’s response or his next move.

“We are not commenting,” McBride’s spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

Police portfolio committee chairperson Francois Beukman said the committee received last week’s correspondence from Cele and McBride.

“In terms of protocol the letters should be directed to the head of the institution and in this case Speaker Baleka Mbete,” Beukman said.

He also said no committee could consider such correspondence until it was referred to it by Mbete and it being published in the internal parliamentary communication correspondence.

“It is up to the office of the Speaker when to refer the correspondence. We are to wait and consider what the nature of the referral is,” Beukman said.

The committee will meet for the first time on February 12 and 13 to consider a pre-arranged agenda which includes a briefing by SAPS on the anti-gang strategy and roll-out of units.

The committee will also receive a briefing by metro police chiefs on their budget, structure, performance and high-profile cases.

Political Bureau