From McBride to Phiyega: Friends and foes in our criminal justice system

2015-03-29 15:00

Abram Mashego unpacks the complex web of people working together to keep you safe?...?

The foes

Nhleko vs Phiyega

In October, Nhleko announced an investigation by a team of experts called the “reference group”, into Phiyega’s fitness to hold office.

Phiyega refused to cooperate and asked President Jacob Zuma to intervene. The findings of the probe are yet to be announced.

Nhleko vs Dramat

Nhleko suspended Dramat in December for what – Dramat claimed – was part of a plan to remove him because of high-profile cases. One of these is believed to be the overspending at the president’s Nkandla homestead.

Nhleko vs McBride and Sibiya

Nhleko accused McBride of deliberately changing the findings of a report into the roles Dramat and Sibiya played in the illegal rendition of five Zimbabweans in 2010.

Nhleko also accused McBride of illegally obtaining an “information storage device” from Sibiya’s office, which could have implicated the two in wrongdoing.

McBride accused Nhleko of having political motives. He is now suspended.

Phiyega vs Nxasana

Phiyega accused Nxasana of having ulterior motives in his attempt to have Jiba charged with fraud and perjury for her role in unlawfully instituting racketeering charges against the Hawks’ KwaZulu-Natal head, General Johan Booysen.

A source close to Phiyega said she questioned why Nxasana had not charged KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Advocate Moipone Noko and North West Hawks boss Major General Ntebo Mabula, because they also allegedly lied. Noko declined to comment yesterday.

Nxasana hit back, accusing Phiyega of shielding Jiba.

Senior NPA sources said she was doing this to gather allies in her battle against Nhleko – to keep her job.

Nxasana vs Jiba, Mrwebi

Nxasana wrote to President Zuma asking him to suspend Jiba and Mrwebi.

Nxasana accused Jiba of trying to topple him and sending police officers to dig up dirt on him.

Nxasana faces an inquiry into his fitness to hold office, while Jiba and Mrwebi face criminal charges laid by the NPA.

Phiyega vs Dramat, Sibiya

Phiyega, through SAPS detectives head Vinesh Moonoo, asked Dramat to hand over dockets of high-profile cases so they could be “centralised” under her command, sparking a heated exchange.

Emails between Moonoo and Sibiya show how Phiyega ordered the cases to be handed over to her subordinate, which amounts – sources say – to interference in Hawks investigations.

Ntlemeza vs Dramat, Sibiya, McBride

Although the three were once colleagues, their relationship has now soured. Ntlemeza, who is critical of Dramat’s leadership, is now investigating Sibiya for corruption.

He tried to suspend him, but failed, and is now pursuing disciplinary charges against him. Ntlemeza accuses both Dramat and Sibiya of playing a role in the renditions, and McBride of covering up.

The friends

Nhleko and Ntlemeza

Although Ntlemeza’s appointment was declared unlawful by the North Gauteng High Court, he remains acting head of the Hawks. He is said to be close to Nhleko, and regularly travels to Cape Town to meet with him.

Phiyega and Ntlemeza

The two are said to enjoy a cordial relationship and Ntlemeza defers to her authority.

Dramat, Sibiya and McBride

McBride wrote to Dramat and Sibiya’s lawyers shortly after they were suspended, saying he had cleared them of wrongdoing. The three are said to enjoy a good relationship, although Dramat’s decision to accept an exit package is seen as a betrayal.

Jiba, Mrwebi and Mdluli

Jiba has Mrwebi on her side. She also has former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli on her side. He is a powerful man close to Zuma, and Mdluli is said to have attended a meeting of Jiba’s allies this week.

A relationship between Mrwebi and Mdluli could not be established, although they share a common ally.

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