Anwa Dramat on thin ice

2013-10-06 10:00

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Hawks boss charged with illegal rendition of Zimbabweans.

Hawks head Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat has been informed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) that they are investigating criminal charges against him.

The charges, City Press has been told, relate to the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in November 2010.

Ipid is already investigating Gauteng Hawks head Major General Shadrack Sibiya for the illegal renditions as well as for theft and assault.

City Press reported last month that a fierce battle is raging for supremacy in the highest echelons of the police and centres on top police officers who played a leading role in investigating disgraced crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli.

Both Dramat and Sibiya were ­instrumental in investigating Mdluli for various charges, including ­murder, fraud and corruption.

Sibiya was initially in charge of the investigation against Mdluli until Dramat brought in a Hawks team from the Western Cape to pursue the charges.

Dramat reportedly withstood extreme political pressure to abandon the probe against Mdluli.

He refused to withdraw Hawks colonels Kobus Roelofse and Piet Viljoen from the ­investigation.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) later dropped the charges against Mdluli while the then acting police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, withdrew all disciplinary charges against the crime intelligence boss.

The high court in Pretoria found last week that Mkhwanazi was under extreme pressure “from above” to do it.

The court ordered that all charges against Mdluli, both criminal and disciplinary, should be reinstated.

The police referred all comments about the rendition investigation against Dramat to Ipid.

Its spokesperson, Moses Dlamini, said the investigation was “ongoing” but added that no arrests had been made.

City Press understands that Dramat will probably meet Ipid this week, but is furious about the investigation.

He has apparently threatened to take legal action.

Both Dramat and Sibiya were probed and cleared by a police investigation after reports surfaced that they were implicated in the renditions – the illegal cross-border transportation of foreign nationals.

According to an affidavit by ­Roelofse, the story was originally leaked by elements in crime intelligence to newspapers in order to discredit the Hawks heads and derail the Mdluli investigation.

At the time, Sunday Times reported that some of the Zimbabweans were killed once the Hawks handed them to their counterparts across the border.

Sibiya is a potential candidate to succeed Dramat, and his allies believe the move against him is to ruin his chances of being appointed.

City Press reported last month that the former acting head of the NPA and a close Mdluli ally, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, pressed Ipid for the probe against Sibiya.

She reportedly initiated the investigation and offered two senior state prosecutors to the police watchdog to speed it up.

In another development, the police have allegedly unearthed an alleged assassination plot against Sibiya.

It apparently also involves former ­Gauteng police head Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros.

Both Sibiya and Petros have been given armed guards, and are driving different vehicles. Neither would comment this week.

A senior Hawks source told City Press that the crime intelligence unit alerted them to the threat and this was reported to national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, who ordered increased security for both men.

Petros, who announced his retirement from the police in August, has also been fingered as part of a “conspiracy” to bring Mdluli down.

In 2012, Mdluli claimed in a letter to President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that he was the victim of conspiracies by police top brass, who wanted him out ­because he was seen to be a “Zuma man”.

He named both Petros and Dramat as part of these conspiracies.

The police wouldn’t comment on the alleged plot this week, but City Press was told by an impeccable source that the crime intelligence unit reported that the alleged ­“plotter” was known to them.

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