Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride and Police Minister Bheki Cele.
Johannesburg - Police Minister Bheki Cele acted on solid legal advice when he referred allegations of unethical conduct against Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride to Parliament.

This is according to policing expert Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies.

“Although there is law in view of the Constitutional Court, we have to respect the judgment, which means to refer the whole matter to Parliament and start proceedings (an inquiry),” Burger said.

He made the comments in the wake of a letter Cele wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, notifying her of allegations made against McBride.

In the letter, Cele said the allegations had been made by senior Ipid investigator Cedrick Nkabinde.

The minister cited the 2016 Constitutional Court judgment that overturned the suspension of Mcbride and the decision of then minister Nkosinathi Nhleko to institute disciplinary action as invalid, and set it aside.

“The committee of the National Assembly is the body empowered to handle and make the relevant determination,” Cele said.

Nkabinde had listed unethical conduct by an Ipid special task team that investigated former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, Lesetja Mothiba and incumbent General Khehla Sitole.

McBride and Ipid have on record dismissed the allegations and accused Nkabinde and other investigators of being offered jobs by the SAPS to scupper the Ipid-led criminal cases.

Yesterday, Burger said the complaint justified Cele’s request that Parliament become involved, especially in view of the Constitutional Court judgment.

He also said the police watchdog body had an incredibly difficult task investigating criminal cases against SAPS members, who tended to protect each other.

“This is a very difficult office to run," Burger said.

"You always run the risk of making those you investigate angry, and often run the risk of revenge actions, as we have seen against McBride,” he said.

Political Bureau