NPA, Hawks 'conspiring to make trumped-up charges' – McBride

2016-11-02 08:22
Robert McBride.

Robert McBride.

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Pretoria – Ipid head Robert McBride has called for an investigation and a judicial commission of inquiry into possible collusion between the NPA and the Hawks.

"I will state it again quite loudly, and without any provocation, that certain elements of the Hawks and NPA are conspiring to make trumped-up charges against people who play an important role in the institutions of our country. Recent facts and developments have proven this," McBride said outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday afternoon.

He was speaking after the State withdrew fraud and defeating the ends of justice charges against him and two of his former colleagues at the police watchdog, Innocent Khuba and Matthew Sesoko.

All three men maintained their innocence and said the State never had a strong case against them. They were persecuted for doing their jobs and being truthful, they said.

Sesoko was recently dismissed as Ipid’s director of investigations while Khuba was sacked from his post of Limpopo Ipid head.

The Hawks' Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit investigated their and McBride’s role into the investigation of former Hawks head Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat and Hawks Gauteng head Major General Shadrack Sibiya.

Dramat and Sibiya were accused of involvement in the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.

State 'hamstrung'

The findings contained in a final report on the matter, and which McBride signed, exonerated Dramat and differed greatly from an earlier report implicating him in the renditions.

According to a report by law firm Werksmans Attorneys, portions of statements by individuals who implicated Dramat in the illegal renditions and which appeared in the first report, were left out of the second report.

McBride has maintained that the earlier report did not take all the facts into account.

On Tuesday, the court heard that the witness who compiled the Werksmans report was not willing to testify and was prepared to approach the High Court for an interdict, if the State issued him with a subpoena.

The State said it felt "hamstrung" and opted not to proceed with the matter, which had been set down for trial this week.

"There is no evidence against the people in other trials which are off-shoots of this one, so it is likely that those trials will also collapse," McBride said. It seemed he was referring to Dramat’s own case regarding the renditions.

"If you look at all the cases, it begs us to start an investigation as to what this conspiracy was about."

He said while the Ipid could investigate the Hawks, in terms of the Ipid Act, it could not investigate the NPA. This is why there was a need for a judicial commission of inquiry, he said.

"How is it possible that a few elements in the criminal justice system can meticulously and continuously be going after the independent institutions and watchdog bodies? It needs an inquiry."

Suspension declared invalid

McBride returned to his job on October 19, after having been suspended for 16 months. The Constitutional Court ruled on September 6 that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko did not have the legal power to suspend him.

It declared the suspension invalid and set it aside. It however suspended the declaration of invalidity for 30 days for Parliament to decide if it wanted to take disciplinary action against McBride. The 30 days lapsed without Parliament taking any action.

Nhleko subsequently lambasted Parliament for failing to deal with the matter on time.

On Monday, Nhleko said McBride’s legal action against the police department cost it over R6.7m. The costs were related to motions regarding McBride’s suspension and review proceedings.

This was contained in a written reply to a parliamentary question from DA MP Zakhele Mbhele.

Nhleko said Dramat’s suspension cost the ministry R828 943, and Sibiya’s suspension R6.3m.

On Tuesday, McBride said Nhleko interfered with the Ipid's work, which was not his business.

"It’s not the minister’s business to second-guess the outcome of an investigation conducted by experienced Ipid investigators.

"There is a case for fruitless and wasteful expenditure. As to who must be held accountable for that, we must investigate and someone must be held accountable for all this wastage in this conspiracy against independent watchdogs and institutions," McBride said.

Read more on:    npa  |  hawks  |  robert mcbride  |  pretoria

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