Minister vs McBride heads for another round

2015-07-26 15:00
Robert McBride

Robert McBride

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The ongoing battle between Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride looks set to continue for months to come.

Nhleko will tomorrow appeal a court ruling that has resulted in the delay of the disciplinary hearing against McBride.

Nhleko’s lawyer William Mokhari yesterday (Saturday) confirmed having received instructions from the police minister to bring a court challenge.

“I am currently drafting the court papers and will be filing them in the labour court on Monday. Should our request be denied, I have received instructions to petition the labour appeal court,” Mokhari said.

In the meantime, Mokhari said, the disciplinary hearing will remain on halt while their appeal process continues.

The labour court on Friday ruled in favour of McBride and ordered that disciplinary proceedings against him be halted.

Judge Annelie Basson ordered that the hearing be halted pending the final determination of the constitutional challenge launched by McBride in the North Gauteng High Court.

Judge Basson also ordered that Nhleko pay McBride’s legal fees for his two counsels.

McBride was suspended after he was accused of altering an Ipid report that implicated Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya and former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean nationals.

He then approached the court seeking to halt the disciplinary hearing pending his high court application.

In the high court application, McBride challenges the constitutionality of powers entrusted to Nhleko to suspend the Ipid head.

McBride argues that Nhleko undermined the police watchdog’s findings in the illegal renditions. This, he claims, amounts to obstruction of the organisation’s independence.

The application on the constitutional point is expected to be heard in August.

The Helen Suzman Foundation is expected to make submissions on the constitutional requirements of adequate independence for a body such as Ipid.

Meanwhile, Nhleko’s court challenge comes as Mxolisi Zondo, the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing, found that suspended Gauteng Hawks head Major- General Shadrack Sibiya was guilty of having meetings with senior Zimbabwean police officers and sharing information on fugitives.

Zondo also found that Sibiya issued instructions for the hunting down of wanted Zimbabwean nationals who were later assaulted and tortured before being handed to Zimbabwean police.

Sibiya, who told his disciplinary hearing that the meetings he had with Zimbabwean police were authorised by the police ministry, was cleared of having been personally involved in the rendition of Zimbabweans.

Zondo also found that three crime intelligence officers who were brought to testify by police lied before the hearing.

Sibiya is expected to challenge the findings soon.
Read more on:    robert mcbride  |  nathi nhleko

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