Cellphone records presented at Sibiya's disciplinary hearing

2015-06-10 21:21


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Johannesburg - Cellphone records were presented at the disciplinary hearing of suspended Gauteng Hawks head Major General Shadrack Sibiya on Wednesday to prove that he was not involved in the arrest of a group of Zimbabweans later subjected to an alleged rendition. 

According to Sibiya's counsel Paul Kennedy, Sibiya's cellphone records of November 5 2010, place him at police head office in Braampark, Johannesburg, at the arrest of four of the five me.

After that Sibiya's cellphone records place him in Wendywood, and later in Pretoria where he was with his girlfriend of the time.

This was to dispute evidence by a witness at the disciplinary hearing, Crime Intelligence Sergeant Bongani Yende, who claimed he saw Sibiya near a mall in Fourways during an operation to arrest the four, and later at the scene of their arrests in Diepsloot.

Denied involvement

Sibiya was suspended on January 20 this year for misconduct for his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of five Zimbabweans. He was allegedly part of a plan to apprehend them and hand them over to Zimbabwean police. 

He has denied involvement, and says that the claims are an act of revenge by former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli after an investigation into whether Mdluli had killed a love rival, Oupa Ramogibe.

According to Yende, on November 5 2010, a superior called him and said that Sibiya wanted them to meet at Fourways to search for suspects in a case in which a colonel was killed.

They did not have their usual pre-operation briefing, and hurried to the meeting place near a mall in Fourways.

There he saw Sibiya in a navy blue BMW, talking on his cellphone.

He then proceeded in a 15-vehicle convoy, with sirens sounding, to Diepsloot where the men had been arrested. In Diepsloot he again saw Sibiya in his car.

Yende explained that he had been in Crime Intelligence and then joined the Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS) to work with Sibiya, who was his senior and now he is back in Crime Intelligence.

Sibiya was present for the hearing and listened intently while Yende was cross-examined.

A Captain ''Cowboy'' Maluleke was giving the orders and although Sibiya was there, he did not give any orders.

He was ''just there'', said Yende of Sibiya.

Glacial pace

The hearing moved at a glacial pace as proceedings were translated from English to Zulu and back to English, with the occasional interjection from other Zulu speakers in the room over the correct interpretation of a word or phrase.

Yende said when they got to Diepsloot, they were told that four people they were looking for for the murder of a colonel had been apprehended at a shack.

When they arrived there, the four were lying on the ground. The four were later taken to a police station in Orlando, and the policemen there were told that they were in the country illegally. 

They were not told they were wanted for murder and robbery in Zimbabwe. He said he had heard that two other policemen had made the arrests, also under orders from Maluleke.

Kennedy demanded to know why Yende's affidavit only placed Sibiya in Fourways, and did not mention the Diepsloot scene. Yende said that he had not been asked about it.

''I put it to you that it is because you did not see him in Diepsloot,'' said Kennedy.

''I said he was there at Diepsloot but in my affidavit, on my statement, I didn't mention it because there was no direct question asked if he was there or not," said Yende.

'There is no way I would do that'

Kennedy also questioned why his statement was so similar to that of other witnesses.

''I put it to you that you worked with others in the police service who have an agenda to blacken his name by means of your statement and others,'' said Kennedy.

''No, it's not true and for me, there is no way I would do that,'' said Yende.

On November 6, another person was apprehended in Alexandra and was booked out of the Alexandra police station by Maluleke, who took the five to Beit Bridge.

The rendition allegations, first reported by the Sunday Times, have already seen the suspension of Sibiya, the departure of national Hawks head Anwa Dramat, who allegedly knew about it, and a disciplinary hearing for Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride.

Although Yende insisted that he saw Sibiya during the operation, he said: ''There is no stage where I saw General Sibiya giving Captain Maluleke instructions.''

The hearing continues on Thursday.

Read more on:    hawks  |  richard mdluli  |  robert mcbride  |  shadrack sibiya  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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