New Ipid head in place soon
South Africa will probably have a new Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head by September.
This was revealed by police minister Bheki Cele in his budget speech in parliament on Thursday.
Ipid, which is tasked with investigating complaints against the SAPS and municipal police, is operating under the leadership of acting head Victor Senna.
However, Senna’s contract expires at the end of July.
He took over from Robert McBride, who left his post after Cele refused to extend his contract.
Cele and McBride had entered into a public spat, which led to McBride taking the legal route to force the minister to extend his contract for another five years.
Cele came out on top after members of parliament backed him in the dispute.
Cele said on Thursday that the process to appoint a new Ipid head was expected to be completed in September.
“This will provide Ipid with the necessary stability and proper management and administration,” Cele said.
“The structural and operational independence of Ipid will always be protected and safeguarded by the ministry to allow Ipid to discharge its responsibilities without fear, favour and prejudice.”
In his speech, Cele made several announcements, including a promise to expand the police’s anti-gang unit into a national unit to cover other gang-affected areas such as Port Elizabeth and parts of Johannesburg.
The unit is operating only in the Western Cape at present.
Cele said the unit would also attend to other serious crimes such as murder, rape, hijackings and cash-in-transit heists.
“We want a national approach in fighting gangsterism,” he said.
Police also wanted to establish a detectives’ academy to sharpen skills for the Hawks and other detectives.
Cele also announced the establishment of yet another firearms amnesty period.
“After this period, and you don’t bring your illegal firearm or any other firearm that may be dangerous, there won’t be peace,” Cele said.
He said the police would have no mercy in dealing with people with illegal firearms after the amnesty period.