The High Court in Pretoria is on Friday expected to hand down a judgment on Robert McBride’s constitutional challenge regarding Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s powers to suspend him.
In August, McBride approached the court stating that did not think Nhleko was allowed to suspend him without consulting other members of Cabinet, in terms of the Constitution.
As head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), McBride believed he would not be able to fulfil his mandate to act independently if the police minister himself was allowed to do this.
IPID investigates allegations of misconduct or wrongdoing by police officers.
McBride was suspended in March as part of the fallout into an investigation into the illegal deportation of five Zimbabweans wanted for the murder of a policeman in that country’s city Bulawayo.
He was accused of tampering with an IPID report into whether the former head of the specialised police unit, the Hawks, Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat, was involved in the renditions.
Dramat was suspended on December 23 and after to-ing and fro-ing between court, his office, and being on leave, he resigned in April.
Gauteng Hawks head Major General Shadrack Sibiya was fired in September after being found guilty of gross misconduct after a disciplinary inquiry into the renditions.
McBride had secured an interdict from the Labour Court that his disciplinary hearing be put on hold until the outcome of the constitutional challenge.
His team has argued the constitutional point at the High Court. If they are successful, it is usually confirmed in the Constitutional Court.
His employer could also appeal if he is successful, dragging the matter out further. NEWS4