ATC200722: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the appointment of the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, dated 22 July 2020
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the appointment of the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, dated 22 July 2020.
The Portfolio Committee on Police, having considered the subject of the nomination by the Minister of Police of Ms Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), reports as follows:
The Speaker on 2 July 2020 notified and referred to the Portfolio Committee, a letter from the Minister of Police (ATC No 86-2020), informing Parliament that he has nominated Ms Jennifer Dikeledi Ntlatseng as the preferred candidate for appointment to the position of Executive Director for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), in terms of section 6 of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act, 2011 (Act No 1 of 2011).
The Minister’s letter and supporting documents were referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police for consideration and report since the Act requires “the relevant parliamentary committee” to confirm or reject the Minister’s nomination for the post within 30 working days.
On 15 July 2020, the Minister of Police was afforded an opportunity to explain to the Portfolio Committee his reasons for nominating Ms Ntlatseng and the Committee proceeded to discuss and formally consider his nomination.
The Minister informed the Committee that the process of finding a suitable candidate had been tedious and long. The search took longer than the stipulated twelve-month period and the Ministry first advertised well within the period. They looked at the applicants and could not find a suitable candidate. After a second round of advertising, they could also not find a suitable candidate.
The interview panel comprised of Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Service, Mr Cassel Mathale, Deputy Minister of Police and Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary of Police.
After the panel could not find a suitable candidate, the Minister of Police wrote to the Speaker of National Assembly requesting an extension in April 2020. The Minister appointed a company to proceed with a head-hunting process. Twenty-four people were invited to submit their CVs and a shortlist of five candidates were presented to the Minister of which three candidates were short-listed for interviews.
The three candidates fulfilled the criteria after being checked by the recruitment company. The Minister outlined the criteria and all the candidates were subjected to a technical exercise which included a strategy to deal with IPID’s low morale, given the financial constraints in the country. They had to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system, understand the impact of policy development and the work of IPID and the ability to work with other stakeholders.
The Interview panel recommended Ms Ntlatseng as she had special qualities over others.
The Committee was satisfied that the Minister had kept the Committee informed of the process and the difficulties encountered with not finding a suitable candidate. The Chairperson informed the Committee that she had received letters from the Helen Suzman Foundation and Corruption Watch regarding the nomination of the Minister.
The Parliamentary Legal Services informed the Committee that a letter from the Helen Suzman Foundation, which requested the Committee not to make an appointment until after their matter had been heard by the Supreme Court of Appeals, did not prevent the Committee from proceeding with an appointment in terms of its responsibility.
After the briefing from the Parliamentary Legal Services section, the Committee noted the process followed by the Minister and was satisfied with the briefing and the fact that it could proceed with a decision.
The African National Congress, Inkatha Freedom Party, National Freedom Party and the Economic Freedom Fighters voted in favour of confirming the Minister’s nomination.
The Freedom Front Plus did not have a problem with the powers of the Committee to take a decision confirming or rejecting the candidate. However, the party did not support the candidate due to her not having investigative experience as other candidates were declined given that they did not have investigative experience. The Freedom Front Plus noted that the Committee did not have the opportunity to interview the candidates and decide on the best candidate.
The Democratic Alliance objected to the nomination and indicated it was disappointed that the Committee proceeded to process the nomination. The Democratic Alliance pointed out that the candidate did not have investigative experience and other candidates who did not have experience were not interviewed. The Democratic Alliance reserved its rights in view of the Helen Suzman Foundation appeal process in which the Committee was a respondent. It also suggested that the Committee considers amending the IPID Act before confirming the appointment.
The nomination was therefore supported by the majority of the members of the Committee. The Act does not require the House to endorse the Committee’s decision. The Portfolio Committee, having successfully discharged its statutory obligation in terms of Act, consequently requests the Speaker, as a matter of protocol, to communicate the Committee’s confirmation of the Minister of Police’s nomination of Ms Ntlatseng as the Executive Director of IPID to the Executive.
Report to be considered.