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Police Committee approves Cele's nomination for IPID head

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Police Committee approves Cele's nomination for IPID head

Police Minister Bheki Cele

15th July 2020

By: African News Agency

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The Portfolio Committee on Police approved the appointment of Dikaledi Jennifer Ntlaseng as the new executive director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on Wednesday on the basis of Police Minister Bheki Cele's nomination.

However, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Freedom Front (FF) Plus have objected to the appointment.

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Committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson said she would have been extremely disappointed if they merely rubber-stamped Cele's nomination.

"There is no way we've simply rubber-stamped the nominee," she said, describing the process as "really thorough".

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The matter was discussed for slightly less than two hours and the discussion included the hearing of legal opinions, a briefing by Cele, the delayed nomination process and MPs' opinions on the IPID legislation.

After Cele's nomination became known earlier this month, the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) said it had written to him, the Portfolio Committee on Police and IPID, cautioning them not to proceed with the appointment process. It was their argument that an appointment would be unlawful because of its case that was pending before court.

Questions

The HSF's case centres around whether the minister and the previous Portfolio Committee on Police were permitted to decide to not renew the tenure of former IPID head Robert McBride, and the interpretation of the IPID Act in this regard.

But the committee received a legal opinion that it could proceed with the appointment process because the court case dealt with the renewal of an IPID head - not the appointment - and because Parliament's decision to not renew former IPID head Robert McBride's contract was not under review by the court.

FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said he would not support the nomination. 

"I mean, I didn't even see the person."

He believes a candidate should appear before the committee to answer questions.

DA MP Okkie Terblanche said he also didn't support the nomination because Ntlaseng did not have any investigative experience.

But African National Congress (ANC) MPs slammed the MPs who opposed the nomination, saying they did not support women's emancipation, were not honest, and didn't want an IPID head so that a forceful eviction in Cape Town, in which a naked man was removed from his residence, would not be investigated properly. They also accused them of being spokespeople for Corruption Watch and the Helen Suzman Foundation.

"I, for one, am impressed that for the first time IPID will have a woman executive director," ANC MP Jacqueline Mofokeng said. 

The ANC MPs said Ntlaseng had the requisite experience. She worked at the Gauteng Department of Community Safety.

National Freedom Party MP Munzoor Shaik Emam mentioned that she also had other experience, such as budgeting.

Groenewald pointed out that six candidates were not considered because they did not have investigative experience.

"Now you appoint someone without investigative experience," he added.

Joemat-Pettersson said Ntlaseng had the necessary qualifications and had "an in-depth knowledge" of policing.

The post became vacant on 28 February 2019 when McBride's term ended.

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