Speech on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill [B21–2023]
Speech by ACDP MP, Rev Kenneth Meshoe

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

IPID must be able to police the police independently and properly

Dec 5, 2023

House Chairperson

More than 7,000 SAPS officers have been arrested in the last five years for crimes, including cash-in-transit heists, kidnapping, rape and murder, but shockingly, only 686 of these (under 10%) we convicted.

South Africa desperately needs a truly independent organisation to investigate crimes committed by the police.

Members, if the Independent Police Directorate is to be independent, it cannot have its leader appointed and removed by the Minister of Police. 

According to section 4 of the IPID Act (and I quote):

  • The Directorate functions independently from the South African Police Service; and
  • Each organ of state must assist the Directorate to maintain its impartiality and to perform its functions effectively (close quote).

In short, the Police cannot independently and properly investigate their fellow Police officers. Every organ of state must help IPID to police the Police independently and properly.

The Constitutional Court has also ruled on the matter. According to the judgement of McBride vs the Minister of Police and another, the Executive of IPID cannot and should not be appointed, dismissed or disciplined by the Minister of Police.

Parliament should bring another amendment to change the IPID Act to prevent this from happening and, thus, be in line with the ruling of the Constitutional Court.

If nobody can successfully investigate his or her boss even then, how can IPID investigate the Police while its Executive Director reports to the Minister of Police? We believe this should be the Minister of Justice.

Although the ACDP has noted the inclusion into the IPID Amendment Act of some parliamentary oversight in the appointment of the Executive Director of IPID, we believe that this is not enough. The Bill gives the Minister of Police the power to appoint a panel to advise him or her on the selection of the IPID Executive Director and the Minister of Police is still the one who nominates the IPID Executive Director.

Although the Parliamentary Oversight Committee will have the right to reject the Minister’s nomination, the majority of members of that committee are likely to agree with the Minister because they are likely to belong to the same political party as the case now.

In conclusion, Chairperson, the ACDP rejects the IPID Amendment Bill. The people of South Africa deserve a police force they can trust and only a truly independent and effective IPID can deliver that.

I thank you.

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