Cape Town - Parliament has been dragged into the fight between Police Minister Bheki Cele and Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride over the minister’s decision not to renew the latter’s contract.
Cele has indicated to McBride that he will not renew his contract when it expires at the end of February.
But McBride has promised a fight and demanded reasons for Cele’s decision and threatened to take the matter to court.
The portfolio committee on police said on Sunday it was still waiting for Speaker Baleka Mbete’s decision to refer the letters from the parties and what process to be followed.
Chairperson of the committee Francois Beukman said Mbete had received the two letters from Cele and McBride, but she will have to give the committee direction on what to do next.
However, Beukman would not say when the committee will meet to decide on the matter as the deadline looms for the expiry of the contract.
Mbete will have to refer the matter to the committee for a decision.
“Any referral of significance the Speaker should refer to us and we will deal with it. We will wait for the Speaker to formally refer the matter to us. She will give us indications,” said Beukman.
If there is a vacancy an acting person will have to be appointed until the position is filled.
In terms of the Act the post is advertised, and a panel is set up to interview and recommend candidates and the minister refers the matter to the committee for consideration of the candidate.
Beukman said the issue will have to be dealt with after the Speaker has referred the matter to them. It is expected the decision will be known in the next few days.
Cele has made it clear to McBride in the letters that he was not dismissing him, but was not renewing his contract.
It is not the first time McBride has been embroiled in a fight with the minister of police, after he previously took former minister Nathi Nhleko to the Constitutional Court to challenge his suspension.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the minister cannot unilaterally suspend the Ipid head, and this must be done in consultation with Parliament.
However, that process to suspend him was never pursued by Parliament after he was reinstated by the court.
McBride was also involved in a clash with former acting police chief Khomotso Phahlane, and this spilled over to Parliament.