McBride: Police officials connived with syndicates

2015-04-02 22:04
(File: Beeld)

(File: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride claims in court papers that the police watchdog was busy with “sensitive investigations” against high-ranking members of the police.

These members are suspected of “abusing their positions to protect certain criminal syndicates... or turning a blind eye to their nefarious activities”, he said in court papers filed against Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

McBride was suspended last month in another chapter of the unlawful renditions of Zimbabweans fiasco that has surrounded the police as well as Nhleko.

Netwerk24 understands that IPID has withdrawn itself from the court case to ensure its independence against political interference.

It is according to two independent sources the first decision Free State IPID head Israel Kgamanyane made when he was appointed as acting national head.

A senior source at the police watchdog further confirmed that Nhleko met with IPID management to discuss “the road ahead”.

“[How can it be the business of the minister] to have a meeting with the management of an independent body,” the source asked. “It suggests blatant political interference”.

A second source familiar with the issue said IPID’s decision was “bizarre, because it did not want to enforce its own independence. There was only one reason for this – political pressure.”

Nhleko has said earlier that allegations of political interference was “simply fiction”.

Jac Marais, an attorney with Adams & Adams who represents IPID, confirmed that the police watchdog had withdrawn from the court case.

“But on behalf of Robert McBride we will continue to review his suspension as well as test the constitutionality of the minister’s overview [of IPID],” Marais said.

In the court papers McBride also alleges that the minister had overplayed his hand:

- The court should declare legislation that allows the minister to interfere in the independence of IPID;

- The minister had an ulterior motive in McBride’s suspension;

- And Nhleko's decision to suspend McBride was “irrational and unreasonable”.

Nhleko said in his notice of suspension that the IPID head would interfere with investigations into irregularities. McBride has strongly denied this.

The spat between McBride and Nhleko relates to the existence of two reports in the Zimbabwean rendition fiasco that has torn the Hawks apart.

Nhleko has suspended Hawks bosses Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya based on a preliminary draft report instead of the final report that exonerated them.

When McBride insisted that the report that cleared the Hawks bosses was the final version, he was suspended.

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini could not be reached for comment.

Read more on:    ipid  |  nathi nhleko  |  robert mcbride  |  pretoria

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