'Back off!' – McBride to rogue cops trying to bribe IPID

2018-04-20 18:50
IPID chief Robert McBride. (Paul Herman, News24)

IPID chief Robert McBride. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Each and every day investigators of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) are approached by rogue police officers to look the other way, IPID's head Robert McBride told the Portfolio Committee on Police on Friday.

"This team bled too much. There is no way we're going to look the other way," McBride said. "Back off!"

McBride told the committee IPID needed more resources to expose the shady machinations behind the "blue curtain".

"Corruption – big corruption – is widespread in SAPS," he said. "The will to deal with corruption is not there in the leadership of SAPS."

READ: Police a 'matrix of corruption' - IPID's McBride

He said it would take IPID "forever with the staff we have" to expose the full extent of the corruption.

IPID's budget is allocated out of the police's budget.

R5.1bn in claims against the police

"IPID will continue its trilateral engagements with IPID, National Treasury and SAPS in an effort to source additional funding from SAPS," reads IPID's presentation to the committee.

"By having a well-resourced IPID which can adequately investigate corruption, the state can prevent the loss of resources which can be directed towards service delivery needs for all South Africans."

Claims against the police alone amounted to R5.1bn in the 2016/17 year, according to IPID's information. The organisation says "adequate funding of IPID will realise massive savings for the state".

McBride said the Auditor-General had indicated last year that IPID's lack of funding threatened its status as a going concern, emphasising how dire IPID's finances were.

"We've cried at every place," he said.

"Our wheels have been squeaky and we don't receive the necessary oil."

'Mabula hit squad'

McBride said police officers protect each other and the service "functions like a gang".

"Yep," DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said.

"We call it the blue curtain," McBride said.

He reiterated the point he made at IPID's previous meeting with the committee in March, that corruption in the police was a threat to national security.

McBride said the "Mabula hit squad" was very effective in defeating the ends of justice.

He was referring to Major General Ntebo "Jan" Mabula, a North West police officer who was roped in by corruption accused former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane to lead an investigation into IPID. Mabula and his squad were investigated for, among other things, torture by IPID. Mabula also has a reputation for making politically motivated arrests.

'Watch your backs'

Some of the members of his team are to stand trial for torture and IPID recommended that he be suspended.

MPs, from the governing party and opposition alike, were aghast at what McBride and his team had told them.

"What I'm hearing is so awful," said Kohler Barnard.

ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane said: "It is so shocking to listen to this."

Kohler Barnard said the committee must exert pressure to help IPID.

"It's time we stood up. We can't sit back. Let's try and be proactive," she said.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman said the committee was empowered to amend the budget.

ANC MP Livhuhani Mabija said: "I can say I feel stressed."

"I'm fearing a coup from the police. This corruption is dangerous."

As McBride and his team left the committee room, Kohler Barnard said to them: "Watch your backs."

Read more on:    saps  |  ipid  |  robert mcbride

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