File image: IOL
Parliament - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has come under fire from Parliament for spending the bulk of its R315 million budget to pay salaries instead of running its operations.

This was after Ipid told MPs that in its budget of R315m for the 2018/19 financial year, R212m went to the salaries of its employees.

This left very little for operations of the organisation.

Ipid warned the same is likely to happen in the current financial year as their projections show they will spend more on salaries.

This, it said, would leave R52m for the organisation’s operations and the rest of the R55m would be redirected to contractual obligations.

But members of the portfolio committee on police are not impressed that only R52m will go to the operations and a lump sum towards salaries.

The committee said it would not allow this to happen, adding Ipid’s responsibility was to ensure it fights misconduct cases against the police.

IFP MP Zandile Majozi questioned what would the core function of Ipid be if the bulk of the budget goes to salaries.

“When I look at your budget, most of it goes to the employees. If you are left with R52m then it means more than R200m goes to employees,” said Majozi.

She insisted Ipid explain its core function and justify why a huge cost was being set aside for workers.

The EFF has also said the decision leaves much to be desired.

Henry Shembeni, of the red berets,said Ipid had to prioritise its business and focus on its core function.

However, Ipid acting head Victor Senna said they were stretched on the resources.

Ipid has for years been trying to get an increase for its budget.

Senna said they were trying to make do with what they have.

Head of investigations at Ipid Matthew Sesoko also told the committee they needed to deal with the backlog of cases.

He said Ipid was short-staffed and over the years they have been trying to get more people to work for the organisation.

“In terms of the structure of Ipid, it is supposed to employ more than 535 people, but employs far less because of budgetary constraints,” he said.

“When we were established in 1997 our structure was supposed to be at 535, however 20 years later we are sitting below that 535.

“If we don’t deal with backlogs they will overwhelm our investigators.”

Political Bureau