28 February 2014

South Africa: Appointment of Mcbride - DA to Pursue PAIA Application Appeal

press release

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is extremely disappointed that the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, would have such brazen disregard for the integrity of both the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) by finalising the appointment of the scandalous Robert Mcbride.

The DA has objected to this appointment from the very beginning, and we will not let this matter go without doing everything possible to ensure that there are full answers for the very questionable process which led to this point.

That is why the DA will continue to pursue crucial documentation pertaining to the nomination of Robert McBride, including the advert, the job description provided, and all application documents submitted by Mr McBride.

This follows the DA being informed that the legal qualification necessary for the Head of IPID was excised from the job advertisement. This leads to the conclusion that the process was abused to make way for Mr Mcbride, who has no legal qualification at all.

The 30 days waiting time for my application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), which had to be re-submitted in January, has now expired and I have yet to receive the documents as requested. I will therefore be appealing this effective refusal of the documentation as a matter of urgency.

South Africa needs the best possible candidate for such an important position. Mr Mcbride, who has stumbled from one scandal to the other, does not appear to be suitable for the position:

- In 1998, McBride was arrested by the Mozambican police on charges of gun running;

- In 1999, while in the company of underworld bosses at an escort agency, McBride was accused of assault; and

- In 2011, McBride was convicted of drunken driving and attempting to obstruct justice, and sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was acquitted in April last year.

In the midst of a police brutality crisis, South Africa can ill-afford a dysfunctional IPID. South Africa and the police deserve better.

Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police

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