DA calls on Inspector General of Intelligence to probe alleged 'Project Wonder' plot

2017-08-27 22:43
Robert Mcbride (File: Beeld)

Robert Mcbride (File: Beeld)

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Pretoria - The Democratic Alliance will be referring an alleged intelligence operation called "Project Wonder" suspected to be a covert plot to unseat IPID boss Robert McBride and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, to the Inspector General of Intelligence.

"The reported participation of operatives in these agencies in this project, specifically the illegal monitoring of Cabinet ministers and their support staff, diverts attention away from the real task of fighting crime and shows how the chickens are coming home to roost after years of political interference and capture of the police service," DA spokesperson on police, Zakhele Mbhele, said in a statement on Sunday.

"The DA will therefore refer this alleged unlawful interference and acts of intimidation to the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) for possible investigation."

Police watchdog IPID has said itbelieves Crime Intelligence is plotting to implicate McBride in wrongdoing.

"We have become aware of communication circulating amongst crime intelligence people, in which they discuss going after McBride," Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini told News24 on Saturday. 

"We also know those who are behind them. We have uncovered fraud, corruption, abuse of secret funds, and the targeting of civil society and individuals with slander. The work continues. We will not be distracted and have improved our security." 

On Saturday, Eyewitness News reported that a case of assault had been opened against McBride for allegedly assaulting a young woman. He allegedly hit and tried to strangle the teenager in a car, it was reported. 

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said SAPS was investigating a case of common assault. 

"We will, however, not confirm the identity of neither the suspect nor the victim until the case has been brought before court," she said.

Bigger plot

News24 understands that a woman not related to the teenager opened the case. 
 
IPID said it believed the assault case was likely part of a bigger plot to discredit McBride because of the work he had been doing fighting corruption. 

This belief comes from an intelligence document which appears to emanate from Crime Intelligence, titled "Project Wonder". News24, however, could not confirm the veracity of the document. 

The document, which has been circulating in the last few weeks, apparently contains details of a plot to target McBride and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, in an attempt to place people that they want in top posts. 

One of the objectives of the alleged "Project Wonder" is to "plan a hit on Mr McBride because he is busy with investigations on corrupt police activities". 

Police spokesperson Major General Sally de Beer told News24 she had never seen the Project Wonder document and had no knowledge of its existence.

"We cannot allow stability in our state security institutions to be corrupted by a mafia of rogue elements whose objective has mutated from fighting organised crime to conducting illegal witch-hunts to promote narrow agendas," said Mbhele.

"The DA will, therefore, refer this alleged unlawful interference and acts of intimidation to the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI) for possible investigation."

"Berning Ntlemeza, Richard Mdluli and Khomotso Phahlane are currently on suspension for various alleged offences committed during their tenure, which means they could face further sanction should it be established that they are the ringleaders of 'Project Wonder’," Mbhele continued.

The DA said they would also be writing to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police to summon Major-General Ngcobo, as the Acting Head of Crime Intelligence, to brief Parliament on what his division would do to clamp down on rogue officers who were suspected of participating in 'Project Wonder'.

Read more on:    da  |  ipid  |  fikile mbalula  |  zakhele mbhele  |  robert mcbride

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