Robert McBride. FILE PHOTO: ANA

In The News South Africa

Cele sticks to his guns but McBride sets new deadline in contract dispute

DURBAN, January 25 – Police Minister Bheki Cele has told Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss, Robert McBride, that he is not removing him from his position, he is simply not renewing McBride’s contract.

“Your term of office expires on 28 February 2019 and the intention of my letter [of non renewal] was to make that visible to yourself,” Cele said in a letter dated Thursday, January 24.

“I have been advised that based on governing labour law principles you cannot claim any right or legitimate expectation to the renewal of your contract.”

Cele further said that his decision not to renew McBride’s contract would be forwarded to the relevant parliamentary committee for consideration.

On January 16, Cele addressed a letter to McBride that said he had “decided not to renew or extend your employment contract as executive director of Ipid”, adding McBride must vacate the office on February 28.

Six days later McBride responded, calling the decision unlawful, saying only Parliament’s portfolio committee on police (PCP) could remove him.

McBride gave the minister until the close of business on Thursday, to withdraw his decision, refer the matter to the PCP, and to give reasons why his contract was not being extended.

Replying on Thursday to the letter Cele sent earlier in the day, McBride asked the minister to “withdraw your binding decision”, noting that Cele had said he would write to the PCP.

“[I]t is not clear what you expect the PCP to do. You communicated to me a final decision, which you again confirm in the letter under reply. You must either withdraw or stand by your decision not to withdraw or renew my term in office,” McBride said.

“In the circumstances, I request that you, by 12 noon [on Friday] make it clear that your decision not to renew my term in office has been withdrawn [and] that you will request the PCP to take a decision whether or not to renew my term of office. Should you not respond positively to my requests, I will assume that you stand by your decision not to renew or extend my term in office and [I will] approach the high court for appropriate relief.”

McBride also called for the reasons for Cele not renewing his contract by noon on Friday.

“My rights are reserved”, he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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