McBride off the hook after IPID investigator resigns, agrees to withdraw complaints

2018-09-21 15:17
IPID boss Robert McBride (File)

IPID boss Robert McBride (File)

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Police watchdog head Robert McBride is off the hook after an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigator agreed to withdraw complaints lodged against him.

The investigator, Cedrick Nkabinde, agreed to withdraw the complaints and resign from the police watchdog in terms of a settlement agreement, dated September 19.

The agreement, seen by News24, stated that the resignation was by mutual agreement and was not a dismissal.

Nkabinde was given until Friday to withdraw all complaints against McBride.

Letter to the minister

The saga dates back to May this year when Nkabinde wrote a letter to Minister of Police Bheki Cele, accusing McBride of "unethical conduct".

He claimed McBride allowed forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan to spearhead an investigation into former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, together with his assistant Sarah Jane Trent.

It was also alleged that McBride divulged official and confidential information to O'Sullivan and his assistant, leaked information to the media, and conducted investigations through the media to "deliberately tarnish the images of specific individuals".

But sources close to the investigation told News24 that two of their investigators, including Nkabinde, were allegedly offered positions by the SAPS to falsely implicate McBride. They alleged that the investigators were offered "cushy" positions – that of brigadier in Crime Intelligence and detective in the SAPS.

Spite and malice

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini also previously told News24 that the allegations against McBride were made out of "spite and malice".

He said at the time that they had been aware of the matter since January 2018 but did not have "incontrovertible proof until recently".

"They are contradicted by the evidence at the IPID's disposal, some of it gathered by Nkabinde himself. For instance, [he] recommended that Phahlane and his goons, led by Major General [Ntebo] Mabula be prosecuted for defeating the ends of justice. Now that he has been removed from the investigation, he now turns around and says the IPID's investigation was led by O'Sullivan," Dlamini said.

McBride said the allegations levelled against him came as IPID was interviewing more suspects in Phahlane's corruption case.

"We have received information that our investigators were allegedly paid money to make false allegations against IPID investigators who are investigating Phahlane. IPID will not be deterred from pursuing its investigations."

Nkabinde has also been accused of changing his stance on Phahlane, who he investigated, as well as former Crime Intelligence officer Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala, where he was the lead investigator in the case.

Misled court

The Specialised Commercial Crimes Court found that Nkabinde purposely misled the court, while on suspension during Tshabalala's bail application. This finding against Nkabinde and what he deposed in court led to Tshabalala being granted bail.

In her judgment in August, Magistrate Nicola Setshogoe said Nkabinde's actions were tantamount to ill conduct.

"It creates doubts in the mind of the court that whatever was deposed by Nkabinde is the truth," Setshogoe said.

This follows phone calls that Nkabinde made to Tshabalala's attorney, Mpesi Makhanya, where he offered to help them in court.

Makhanya testified that Nkabinde told him: "My brother, I wish I could assist that brother (Tshabalala). He must be out on bail and not in detention."

Denial

Makhanya also said that Nkabinde told him that Tshabalala's case was politically motivated, which is why Nkabinde wanted to be called to court to testify in favour of the former Crime Intelligence operative.

However, in a sworn affidavit presented to court by prosecutor Chris Smith, Nkabinde denied that he wanted to testify in a bid to have Tshabalala released on bail.

"At no stage did I say Morris Tshabalala should be released on bail," Nkabinde said in his affidavit.

Smith was later forced to concede that Nkabinde was not telling the truth after evidence of the phone calls was presented.


Read more on:    saps  |  ipid  |  cedrick nkabinde  |  robert mcbride  |  police  |  courts

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