Action Society launched a campaign to change the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) into a truly independent Chapter 9 institution, like the Public Protector.
Even though IPID is South Africa’s police watchdog mandated to investigate any misconduct or criminal activity committed by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Municipal Police Services (MPS), it still answers to the Minister of Police. As it currently exists, it could – and possibly is – subject to political influence. For example, the IPID Act currently grants the Minister of Police the power to remove the executive director of IPID from office.
“Without an independent and constitutional IPID, there is a risk that police misconduct and criminal activities will go unchecked and unpunished,” said Ian Cameron, the Director of Community Safety at Action Society. “This can lead to a breakdown in law and order and the erosion of public confidence in the police and criminal justice system. Through our suggested amendments, we will ensure that IPID can effectively investigate and address misconduct and criminal activity by police officers and protect the public from any potential abuses of power.”
The following changes are needed to get IPID fully independent:
1. Legislation governing IPID’s operations, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act of 2011, must be changed.
2. The Constitution would need to be amended to provide for IPID’s status as a Chapter 9 institution and to expressly guarantee its independence and protection from arbitrary removal from office.
Action Society needs support to implement these changes, and thus people can sign the petition here