Robert McBride. Picture: Zelda Venter/Pretoria News

Cape Town - Parliament will on Wednesday decide the fate of Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride after spending days deliberating on his future.

McBride’s chances of retaining his job appeared slim on Tuesday after the ANC and National Freedom Party MPs raised questions about his credibility to continue to lead Ipid.

Both the ANC and NFP said McBride did not disclose some of the factors to MPs and at the centre were two letters he wrote to Police Minister Bheki Cele last year.

In the letters, McBride said Cele had to start the process of advertising for the position as his contract was expiring at the end of this month.

Phindile Molla of the ANC and Manzoor Shaik Emam of the NFP said it was clear McBride did not need to continue in the job.

But Zakhele Mbhele and Dianne Kohler Barnard of the DA warned against jumping to conclusions.

Molla said the letters had clarified a lot of issues. She said one key thing was that it was McBride who wrote to Cele last year.

“Yesterday (Monday) we blamed the minister. We now have these two letters and I don’t know if the court has seen these letters,” said Molla.

Shaik Emam said McBride should have disclosed the letters to them earlier.

Now that the letters were out, this was a final nail in the coffin, he said.

“We spent hours saying that the minister was wrong. By all implication, with these two letters, McBride knew at all times.

“For me it’s a clear situation. There was a contract, it expired and the minister has a right not to renew,” he said.

Mbhele said they should not jump to conclusions. He said the important thing in the saga was the renewal of the contract.

He said the Ipid Act was specific that if there is a vacancy in the position of Ipid head, Parliament had up to a year to fill the vacancy.

“If anything, the minister has muddied the waters and complicated things. Now we have to do this process on an urgent basis,” said Mbhele.

Jerome Maake of the ANC said he was the one who asked for the two letters.

He said the letters helped clarify a number of issues that MPs were grappling with when they began the discussions.

He said it was not as if Cele woke up one day and decided not to renew McBride’s contract. Maake said there was a process already in place started by McBride last September and November, when he wrote to Cele in those two months.

Political Bureau