Deadline for public input on police watchdog amendment bill looming

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PARLIAMENT, June 18  – Members of the public have until Friday to comment on proposed amendments to the law governing South Africa’s police watchdog, Ipid, Parliament’s police portfolio committee said on Monday.
 
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Amendment Bill is aimed at ensuring greater independence of the watchdog’s head.
 
“The aim of the Bill is to enact the read-in provisions of the Constitutional Court judgement that strengthens the independence of the Ipid and provide for the necessary parliamentary oversight,” committee chairman Francois Beukman said in a statement.
 
Public hearings on the bill is expected to commence next week.
 
Those who want to make written submissions can do so by either emailing the committee secretary Pilate Mgwebu on pmgwebu@parliament.gov.za or via telephone on 021-403 2911.
 
The Constitutional Court gave Parliament until September 5 to make the necessary amendments. In 2016, the apex court upheld a high court ruling declaring sections of the Ipid Act unlawful. 
 
The high court action was brought by current Ipid head Robert Mcbride against the former police minister who suspended him in 2015 after the latter accused McBride of doctoring an Ipid investigation report into former Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation boss Anwa Dramat. 
 
The Constitutional Court ruled the Ipid head can only be removed for misconduct, incapacity or incompetence following a probe by a parliamentary committee and after a vote won by a two thirds majority in the National Assembly. (ANA)