Police Portfolio Committee’s Process of Electing New IPID Head Under Scrutiny

Source: Facebook @sanewsgovza

The Police Portfolio Committee’s appointment of the new Independent Police Investigative Directorate head is being scrutinised by parliamentarians.

On Wednesday the Police Portfolio Committee announced that they approved the nomination of Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele reported that finding the best candidate to fill the vacancy after Robert McBride ended his tenure in February last year, has been a long process and that there were three failed attempts before appointing Ntlatseng.

Committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced that they accepted Cele’s nomination as they found that Ntlatseng has a deep understanding of the justice system.

However, Members of Parliament (MPs) from opposition parties voiced their concerns saying that the decisions from the committee are merely a rubber stamp from the ruling party. The MPs said that the process of electing the new IPID Head had many inconsistencies and that the nominated candidate did not have the necessary investigative experience to take on the job.

During an interview on CapeTalk the Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield, said that it is the duty of Parliament to review and appoint the IPID Head. Whitfield said that they did not get to see who the other shortlisted candidates were and only received the résumé of Ntlatseng last week.

Cele was also criticised for missing the deadline for appointing a new candidate. He replied saying that the committee tried to complete the process within the year, as stipulated by legislation, and applied to the National Assembly for an extension. He said that Human Resource consultation company Ultimate Recruit Solutions (URS) was hired to find appropriate candidates. The five shortlisted candidates was then interviewed by a panel, who were apparently unanimous in their support for Ntlatseng as the best candidate.

The Democratic Alliance says it has submitted a private member’s bill to make changes to the IPID Act that will allow Parliament to head the appointment, that an independent panel should shortlist candidates and that the public should be able to comment on the shortlisted candidates.

The National Assembly will now be in charge of processing the nomination and approving the candidate for the position.