Seniors rubbish claims against KZN IPID at Moerane Commission

2017-12-13 17:31
Robert McBride at the Moerane Commission. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Robert McBride at the Moerane Commission. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg – Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) top brass have rubbished claims that staff at its KwaZulu-Natal offices were dysfunctional or corrupt.

IPID management, led by the national head of investigations, Matthews Sesoko, and accompanied by IPID head Robert McBride, came out guns blazing at the Moerane Commission on Wednesday, saying that just four internal cases were reported in Glebelands Hostel since 2011.

According to IPID, 3 642 cases were reported to it since 2011, with 117 from the Umlazi policing area - a minute number, Sesoko said.

He was vehement about the dedication of IPID, but conceded that it was bogged down by a heavy workload and lack of appropriate resources.

Just four cases, said Sesoko, did not show that IPID was dysfunctional.

READ: 'Illegal money' makes it easy to pay hitmen, Moerane Commission hears

He specifically focused on the Glebelands Hostel and Umlazi - two areas that IPID has been vilified for, for not properly addressing them, since the commission began.

"These numbers show that the allegations of dysfunctionality are not justifiable with just four cases coming out of this area."

Sesoko then turned his attention to IPID ethics manager Amar Maharaj, who had previously appeared before the commission after breaking rank.

Maharaj had claimed IPID's ethics office, served as an official reporting line for whistleblowers to report unlawful and irregular conduct within the organisation.

"Investigators want to go back to the SAPS because IPID is dysfunctional," he said at the time.

He said the Glebelands Hostel "tortures", allegedly by SAPS members, helped expose what was happening at IPID.

In August 2016, Maharaj had reported some of the "discrepancies" at IPID to then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

READ: ANC 'is in a civil war', former mayor tells Moerane Commission

The commission heard that Madonsela had recommended that IPID investigate those discrepancies. However, "nothing happened".

Sesoko said that most of the issues Maharaj mentioned occurred when McBride and himself were suspended and not involved in IPID operations.

"It was a period of instability. When reinstated, the executive director said issues not properly investigated were requested to be taken up again and investigated thoroughly."

Addressing the accusation of the irregular closing of cases, Sesoko provided a letter from the public protector's office that stated Maharaj should deal with the matter through McBride internally.

"As management [we are] made aware of cases closed. Any investigation relies on information. We need people who can cooperate to get us this information."

Sesoko also said that while there were accusations of police supplying firearms to criminals at Glebelands Hostel, there was no evidence to back it up.

False perception

"There was no tangible information of who the officers involved were, to the extent that we could charge them. We rely on people coming forward to us."

Sesoko said the perception of IPID that arose from the commission was false.

"It could be an issue of communication. But we are here to investigate according to our mandate."

He outlined that IPID had investigated high-ranking officials in the police service, including generals.

Sesoko added that Maharaj could face disciplinary action.

"Maharaj has not conducted himself according to our prescripts. His job is to appraise management on issues. Maharaj is not an investigator."

Read more on:    ipid  |  durban  |  moerane commission

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