Ipid officials challenge Mkhwebane's report, saying it's difficult to read

09 October 2019 - 11:56 By ERNEST MABUZA
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report 'was riddled with flagrant factual inaccuracies, illogical conclusions and errors of law', say Robert McBride and seven others.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report 'was riddled with flagrant factual inaccuracies, illogical conclusions and errors of law', say Robert McBride and seven others.
Image: MIKE HUTCHINGS

The report by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane regarding the appointment of  deputy director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Theresa Botha, was “riddled with flagrant factual inaccuracies, illogical conclusions and errors of law”.

This is alleged in an application filed by the former executive director of Ipid, Robert McBride, and seven others before the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The seven launched the application to set aside the report by Mkhwebane released on September 16, where she found that Ipid irregularly appointed Botha.

Mkhwebane found that Ipid had engaged in procurement irregularities and maladministration when irregularly appointing Botha as a deputy director of its national specialised investigation team in 2017.

She said Ipid nominated Botha for a post that had not existed previously and was not subjected to a job evaluation as required by regulations governing public service.

In her remedial action, Mkhwebane ordered the acting executive director of Ipid, Victor Senna, to, within  30 days of her report, take disciplinary steps against all Ipid officials who were responsible for the irregular appointment of Botha.

She also ordered that the acting executive director set aside the appointment of Botha within 60 days on the basis that she was irregularly appointed.

The application filed by McBride and the others is in two parts.

Part A is an urgent application which seeks to interdict the remedial action directed by the public protector pending the review of the report that directs the remedial action.

Part B seeks to review and set aside the report of the public protector in its entirety.

In an affidavit filed by Matthews Sesoko, Ipid’s national head of investigation, he said the report by the public protector was riddled with flagrant factual inaccuracies, illogical conclusions and errors of law.

“It is plainly irrational, unreasonable and unlawful. The report is therefore liable to be reviewed and set aside on multiple grounds,” Sesoko said.

He said the report was at times difficult to read and it was not always possible to follow the line of argument that led to a particular finding.

Sesoko said the appointment of Botha was within the law.

“The report provides no grounds for concluding otherwise.”

He said the matter was urgent as the remedial action required the acting head of Ipid to take action against the implicated employees by October 28.

Sesoko said in an attempt to avoid the urgent application, his lawyers had proposed a draft settlement with the office of the public protector, and said the proposed terms were reasonable and fair.

The proposal was that an interim interdict be granted pending final review and that the applicants be required to initiate their review application on an expedited basis and by no later than November 30.

“At the date of this application being launched, there has regrettably been no reply. In the event that the application is opposed, the applicants also reserve the right to seek that advocate Mkhwebane be ordered to pay the costs of Part A personally,” Sesoko said.

Other applicants include Botha, North West Ipid head Baatseba Motlhale, Ipid’s Limpopo head Innocent Khuba and Ipid’s chief director of corporate services Nomkhosi Netsianda.


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