It is important that police watchdog gains more independence – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says even though the amendment bill is not ideal, his party supports it

It is important that police watchdog gains more independence

4 September 2018

Who polices the Police? This question highlights the necessity for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to gain more independence by means of the Ipid amendment bill.

It is lamentable that it took a decision by the Constitutional Court to force the government to amend the existing law so as to establish a more independent body that can investigate members of the Police.

Even though the amendment bill is not ideal, the FF Plus supports it. With the amendment, there will be more parliamentary oversight for Ipid. Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police will also be tasked with investigating complaints against the executive director of the Directorate.

It is unfortunate that the ANC government has the majority in the portfolio committees by default.

Nonetheless, an outstanding characteristic of the Portfolio Committee for Police is that the Committee truly acts in the best interests of the Police and South Africa and that party politics is not as prominent in this Committee as in some of the others.

To further ensure the fairness of a decision by the Portfolio Committee where the ruling party has the majority, the Committee's recommendations are referred to Parliament where it must be adopted by means of a two-thirds majority.

And this is why the people of South Africa need to know how dangerous it is to have a government with a two-thirds majority. Ideally the ANC must be ousted as ruling party next year with the general elections.

The amendment bill is, however, not superior seeing as there is already a complaint against Ipid's executive director, Mr Robert McBride, that needs to be investigated.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 4 September 2018