Police Committee has voted in favor of police reform bill as they state urgent need.

Adoption of Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill

Committee’s Decision The Police Portfolio Committee has voted to adopt the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill [B21-2023] and will proceed to review it. The decision reflects the committee’s recognition of the need to bolster the independence of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) through legislative measures, aligning with the Constitutional Court’s McBride v. Minister of Police ruling.

Committee’s Support for Bill While there are reservations about certain aspects of the Bill, particularly the lack of certification by the State Law Advisor’s Office regarding the constitutionality of clause 4, the committee stands firmly behind the Bill’s core principles. This stance underscores the committee’s commitment to adhering to South Africa’s legal framework, including National Assembly Rule 286(6).

Chairperson’s Emphasis Chairperson Nocks Seabi emphasized the significance of this decision, highlighting Parliament’s exclusive responsibility for legislating the structure and operations of IPID as stipulated in Section 206(6) of the Constitution. He stressed that the decision was made following careful legal advice and would adhere to legal principles throughout the process.

Action on Expert Panel’s Recommendations The committee received an update and action plan based on the recommendations from the Presidential Expert Panel’s report on the July 2021 disturbances in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The committee has embraced this comprehensive plan and the progress made in implementing the recommendations aimed at the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Deliberation on Inquiry Furthermore, the committee has decided to allow Members of Parliament time to deliberate on whether the committee should conduct a full inquiry into the unrest or defer it to the seventh Parliament. A comprehensive process plan, outlining timeframes, will be developed to assess the feasibility of addressing this matter. This decision aims to avoid duplication with the ongoing investigations by the Presidential Expert Panel and South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which are nearing conclusion.