Helen Suzman Foundation calls for stop to appointment of Ipid head
The Helen Suzman Foundation has cautioned against the appointment process of a new executive director for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
The foundation addressed a letter to police minister Bheki Cele, Ipid and parliament's police portfolio committee.
All three are respondents in a pending matter before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) concerning the renewal process relating to the executive director of Ipid's term of office.
In the letter, the foundation said it was with alarm that it became aware of a letter dated July 2, in which Cele informed the National Assembly that he had nominated Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as the preferred candidate for appointment to the position of executive director of Ipid.
The foundation said the dispute in the pending matter before the SCA concerned the lawful interpretation of the tenure and the renewal of the executive head of the Ipid in terms of the Ipid Act.
“The dispute in the matter is concerned with the question of whether the minister and the committee were permitted to take a decision not to renew the tenure of the then executive director, and the interpretation of the act in this regard,” it said.
In a consent order which was made an order of the high court in Pretoria in February last year, then head of Ipid Robert McBride and the police minister agreed on a mechanism for the renewal of the executive director's tenure. It concentrated the power of renewal in the minister and the committee.
The foundation appealed against that order. It said until the SCA had pronounced its judgment, the office of the executive director cannot be viewed as vacant — and as a result, any appointments made to this office would be unlawful.
The foundation said it anticipated that the SCA will set the matter down for hearing during the November term.
“Against this background, the [foundation] is making a formal request that any appointment process in respect of Ipid’s executive director be halted until such time as the above-mentioned matter has been finally determined.”
It said should the committee proceed to deliberate and reach a decision on Cele's nomination, it reserves its rights — including the right to take legal action.