'Hit squad' still after IPID, says McBride

2018-06-06 18:55
Robert McBride. (File, Netwerk24)

Robert McBride. (File, Netwerk24)

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Corruption accused, and former acting police commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, and the Mabula Hit Squad are still trying to intimidate the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

This is according to IPID executive director Robert McBride, who was reporting to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police on Wednesday.

McBride and his team were reporting on their performance during the third and fourth quarter of the 2017-18, with underfunding to the tune of R20m highlighted as an inhibitor to optimal performance. 

"But we do our very best with very little," McBride said.

He said they had noticed a drop in "normal" cases of corruption being reported. This led them to believe that the focus on corruption had "removed the mantle of impunity", leading to a change in police officers' attitude. 

However, that didn't mean their job had become any easier.

"We've had harassment from our suspects," he said. Phahlane himself had launched counter-investigations against members of IPID.

He said Phahlane and Major General Ntebo "Jan" Mabula from the North West had not stopped their investigation, even though there was a court order prohibiting them.

He said the pair could only proceed with an investigation against them with a direct order from the National Prosecuting Authority, which they did not have. This matter will be in court again later this month. 

'The blue curtain'

McBride described the charges Mabula was investigating against IPID as "thumb suck allegations pulled out of the sky".

DA MP Zakhele Mbhele expressed his concern that the "Mabula hit squad continues with impunity".

"They are aided by crime intelligence, who should be throwing their weight into the [cash-in-transit] heists," he said.

EFF MP Phillip Mahlongo complained that Phahlane was using his "homeboys" from the North West against IPID.

McBride said: "You're dealing with powerful people sitting behind what we call the blue curtain."

He said IPID was aware that there was collusion between "elements" in the NPA and police.

IPID head of investigations Matthews Sesoko said they had made recommendations relating to murder, torture and defeating the ends of justice against Mabula and his team, but nothing had come of it. 

Read more on:    ipid  |  khomotso phahlane  |  robert mcbride

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