The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has announced the dissolution of its national specialised investigation team (NSIT) unit due to budget constraints.
In a statement on Thursday, Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola confirmed that some of the investigators under the unit, who temporarily worked at the national office, would return to their provincial offices. This is also an effort to manage their workload.
“Due to the current deteriorating economic circumstances and constrained resources, a decision was taken to return some of the current investigators, who were temporarily transferred to national office under NSIT unit, to their respective provinces and also decentralise the unit in order to capacitate the provincial offices, where the bulk of the Ipid detective work is done.”
Cola said Ipid executive director, Dikeledi Ntlatseng, had found during her provincial visits that the workload, particularly in the hotspot provinces (Gauteng Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal), could not be handled by the current team of investigators .
“During the consultation meeting with NSIT members, it was established that their workload is far less than that of their colleagues based in the provinces, this is unjustifiable and may result in unfair labour practice.
“Some of these officials were originally employed and stationed in the provinces hence they are being returned back, their remunerative expenses are still borne from their respective province’s budget.
“In some cases, Ipid was paying approximately R100,000 thousand per month on accommodation, travel and subsistence expenses for some of members who were transferred from various provinces to national office and work with Investigative Directorate [ID].”
Cola explained that budget constraints, which were worsened by the recent budget cuts, had compelled management to asses its resources.
“All Ipid members who have been working with ID will continue to fight corruption whilst they are in their respective provinces. This will ensure that they also attend to some of the cases that are currently left unattended and creating a backlog.”
She added that Ipid and ID management would have meetings in order to discuss the operational arrangements.
“Systems have been put in place to provide all Ipid investigators with training on forensic and systemic corruption in order to ensure that all members are able to investigate corruption cases at the provincial level.
“Should a need be identified or arise, the directorate will establish an ad hoc task team to investigate any case that may be referred by the executive director depending on the nature of such case.”