New name for ICD on cards

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pretoria - A change in name and some changes in mandate are on the cards for the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).

Addressing Parliament during a debate on the Independent Complaints Directorate Bill on Thursday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the Bill would change the name of the ICD to the Independent Investigative Directorate (IPID) and create a separate piece of legislation for the IPID.

The new directorate would also no longer be governed under the South African Police Service Act.

The legislation, he said, was aimed at establishing mechanisms that would ensure the rule of law was upheld at all times and by all law enforcement agencies. While government had committed itself fighting crime by being tough on criminals, this tough stance had to be balanced with respect for human rights.

Mthethwa added that changing the name of the ICD to the IPID was an indication that the body would not just focus of processing complaints against police officer but develop a strong investigative capacity.

"We also seek to investigate substantial systemic defects in policing and general corruption," he said.

In the past several problems have plagued the smooth operations of the ICD.

"While it had investigative powers on police, it still had to submit its recommendations to the National Commissioner of Police. The ICD has had no powers to ensure the implementation of its recommendations," he explained, adding that concerns had also been raised relating to the broad focus of the ICD's mandate and the body's inability to effectively implement the mandate.

Another area of concern was the ICD's lack of powers when investigating cases.

"In the legislation determining the mandate of the of the new IPID the focus is squarely on what the most important issues are that the IPID should deal with in order to make a real impact," Mthethwa said.