Here are the probes McBride says the NPA is 'stifling'

2017-09-05 17:50
Robert McBride (Netwerk24)

Robert McBride (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride has scathingly detailed how several high-profile crime suspects are managing to evade the law due to possible deliberate inactivity by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Suspects include South Africa's former top cop, as well as the man previously acting at the helm of IPID.

McBride has outlined the investigations involved in these matters in a letter, asking for intervention, sent to NPA director Shaun Abrahams in the second week of August.

On Tuesday IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini, said: “I confirm that the letter is genuinely from IPID's Executive Director to the NDPP [National Director of Public Prosecutions].”

He declined to comment further.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku on Tuesday did not provide comment by the time of publication.

McBride’s letter, which News24 has seen, comes as tensions between police and IPID are intensifying.

It also comes as a number of police officers, as well as those with links to crime intelligence, have spoken to News24, saying they fear high-level probes are being intentionally derailed by colleagues.

Also read: IPID believes McBride is target of crime intelligence plot

Fraud and the former IPID boss

In the letter to Abrahams, McBride referred to an investigation into former acting IPID executive director Israel Kgamanyane.

He said the acting director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng, Advocate George Baloyi, declined to prosecute.

On July 26, 2017, the docket was referred back to Abrahams’ office for the decision to be reviewed by Baloyi.

“The decision just does not make sense, taking into account the fact that the suspect did not even give his version, despite clear evidence of fraud and corruption as well as contravention of the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act],” McBride wrote.

Phahlane probe

He also referred to a defeating the ends of justice investigation against former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane

IPID previously alleged that Phahlane used his position to illegally obtain documents related to their investigation against him.

McBride, in his letter to Abrahams, said the advocate guiding the defeating the ends of justice investigation into Phahlane was of the view it was “a prosecutable case”.

But he said the matter was referred North Gauteng director of public prosecutions, Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, who “after some delay in making a decision”, decided not to prosecute.

‘Empty promises’

McBride said IPID was communicating the Asset Forfeiture Unit investigators about the Phahlane probe “with a view to obtain a preservation order”. 

Everything had been wrapped up and McBride said all parties agreed there was enough evidence to launch an application. Only the signature of an advocate was needed for drawn-up papers.

However, despite a promise the application would be launched, nothing happened.

“To date no progress has been reported to IPID, despite your undertaking to do so,” McBride wrote to Abrahams.

“The only conclusion IPID can come to in the absence of any explanation from NPA is that there is reluctance on the part of NPA to launch this application, which therefore reinforces our perception of double standards in dealing with IPID matters.”

McBride said on July 26, 2017, a Mr Nkabinda, who News24 understands to be an IPID investigator, went to see a control prosecutor about a section 205 application to be signed in the Phahlane matter.

But the prosecutor said “if it is regarding General Phahlane he cannot sign [it]". 

Instead, the investigator was referred to the chief prosecutor who asked him to review his statement.

While doing so, McBride said, the investigator got a call from the chief prosecutor saying Baloyi had told her only he can sign the application.

Baloyi refused to sign it.

McBride said this brought into question the Baloyi’s interest in the ongoing investigation.

‘Dead end’ torture probe 

The matter involving Major General Ntebo "Jan" Mabula, and several others, who were the subjects of an investigation into torture, was elaborated on in the letter. 

McBride said the matter was decided on in 2010 and suspects were arrested. The cases were later withdrawn so the matter could be centralised.

“However, to date the cases have not been placed back on the court roll.

“The complainants and victims have now lost confidence in the criminal justice system.”

McBride said Abrahams and Mzinyathi had been made aware of this.

Investigations into Mabula and the team, into allegations of kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice, and contempt of court, were guided by two prosecutors.

“They both agreed there is a prima facie case which is prosecutable. However, Advocate Baloyi queried the dockets,” McBride said.

The dockets had been referred back to Baloyi.

No decision had been taken on these yet.

‘SARS kidnapping’

McBride said when it came to the investigation involving Hawks Brigadier Nyameka Xaba, a suspect in the alleged kidnapping of SARS employee Vlok Symington, the prosecutor heading the probe felt it was “prosecutable”.

The docket had been with Baloyi since April 19, 2017.

McBride said while hearing rumours a decision on it had been taken, IPID had not been formally told.

‘Double standards’

He said the director of public prosecutions for North Gauteng and an Advocate Molatlhwa Mashuga decided to prosecute two IPID investigators within 72 hours of them having submitted their warning statements.

Mashuga is the prosecutor in a case against forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan,

McBride previously said he considered the charges against O'Sullivan to be a form of interference in their case against Phahlane.

Of the decision to have the two IPID investigators prosecuted, McBride said: “The swiftness with which this decision was made on charges that do not even make sense is suspicious when contrasted with how IPID cases are dealt with and the delay in taking decisions in IPID cases.”

Prosecutors had, according to McBride, said only the director of public prosecutions could take decisions on matters under investigation by IPID.

“It would, however, appear that on matters investigated by SAPS and the Mabula Team in particular, the prosecutors concerned can take decisions,” he said.

"This raises concerns about the consistency of the NPA in dealing with IPID investigations and SAPS investigations, particularly those SAPS investigations conducted by Mabula Team which in our view are meant to counter IPID investigations.”

On Tuesday national police spokesperson Sally de Beer told News24: “The South African Police Service will not comment on correspondence that allegedly took place between other departments.”

Read more on:    ipid  |  robert mcbride

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