Robert McBride is expected to start his constitutional challenge regarding Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s powers to suspend him in a case starting at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.
McBride does 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 believes he would not be able to fulfil his mandate to act independently if the police minister himself is 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.
McBride 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 is about to be fired after his own disciplinary found it likely that he knew about the renditions.
McBride’s actual disciplinary hearing has stalled over the Constitutional issue, so the misconduct allegations against him have not been aired yet.
He has secured an interdict from the Labour Court that this be put on hold until the outcome of the constitutional challenge.
At the High Court in Pretoria, his team will argue the constitutional point, and if successful, it is usually confirmed in the Constitutional Court.
His employer could also appeal if he is successful, dragging the matter out further. news24