Cele appoints new acting IPID head

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JOHANNESBURG, March 2 – Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has appointed Victor Ofenste Senna as the new acting head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), with effect from Friday.

“All that is needed at this level of governance is wisdom and understanding in carrying the country’s fundamental mandate as directed by the constitution, Mr Senna must take priority in ensuring that the Ipid remains independent and discharges its operational mandate accordingly without fear, favour or prejudice,” said Cele.

Cele appointed the acting Ipid head for a period of three months, his office said.

Senna, 40, held the position of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Ipid, since February 2018. He previously served as the Chief Director of Budget and Revenue at the Gauteng health department for two years; and prior to that he was the general manager of finance at the South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) for two years.

“Senna gained his much impeccable experience in his early managerial years while working as director for finance for the department of science and technology for a period of eight years,” the police ministry said.

“The new acting head of Ipid currently holds qualifications in Bcom Accounting and Masters in Public Administration respectfully. ”

Cele is expected to meet with Ipid senior management and provincial heads next week ahead of his meeting with the Portfolio Committee of Police on Wednesday, to introduce the new acting head to members of the committee.

On Thursday, former Ipid boss Robert McBride launched an urgent bid to keep his job beyond the expiry of his contract in the High Court in Pretoria.

His legal team filed notice with the court that he intended to apply for an urgent interdict against a decision by Parliament’s police portfolio committee to confirm a decision by Cele to not renew McBride’s term — which expired on Thursday, February 28 — for another five years.

In the court papers, McBride said he wished to approach the court on an urgent basis and convince it that the committee’s decision was “unlawful and invalid” and should be “reviewed and set aside”.

McBride is also requesting access to all the committee’s documents and recordings which informed members of Parliament’s (MPs’) decision that his contract not be renewed.

In a statement shortly after filing his paper, McBride lashed out at MPs and called their decision “irrational” and claimed the decision was an attack on Ipid’s independence.