IPID boss Robert McBride expected to blow the whistle on capture of law enforcement agencies at Zondo commission

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Robert McBride (Netwerk24)
Robert McBride (Netwerk24)

Claims of attempts to capture the SA Police Service, the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are expected to take centre stage on Thursday when IPID boss Robert McBride testifies before the state capture commission of inquiry.

McBride, former Hawks head Anwa Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya separately held meetings with the commission's investigators last week and last month.

In September, TimesLIVE reported that state capture inquiry commissioners were to be briefed about a secret police death squad trained in offensive warfare and which was possibly involved in political assassinations, break-ins and harassment during the Zuma presidency.

The sensational claims were made by McBride, who discussed what evidence he could present on the police's role in aiding and covering up state capture.

McBride is expected to tell the commission that he is investigating the whereabouts and activities of the squad, which underwent sniper training in Russia, the use of rocket launchers and ambushes.

He told the Sunday Times that in late 2016, 16 men were hired on the pretext of guarding offices of the Hawks, but were sent for specialist training to Russia.

Weapons training might also have been conducted in China, he said.

Sources told City Press last month that Dramat would testify that former police minister Nathi Nhleko allegedly pushed him out of his job.

"He will testify about how the rendition case [of five Zimbabwean nationals], which was initiated by Crime Intelligence, was used as a smokescreen to get rid of himself, Sibiya and former top police officer Leslie Maluleke," said one source.

"He will also tell the commission about the political pressure to drop several high-profile investigations, including one into the arms deal, and how Nhleko was willing to do whatever it took for him (Dramat) to vacate the Hawks top job. Dramat is also expected to testify about how Nhleko interfered in the running of the police and the Hawks, and also about how Nhleko accused him of behaving like the Scorpions, which was accused of targeting politicians."

The publication reported that Dramat, Sibiya and McBride's testimony would place former president Jacob Zuma and Nhleko at the centre of the capture of law enforcement agencies.

Four highly placed sources told City Press the three would also testify about how Zuma failed to prevent state capture and ignored warnings about it.

They said the testimony would shed light on how police officers and prosecutors were involved in political battles and smear campaigns.

"The evidence by McBride will implicate Nhleko in paralysing law enforcement agencies by hiring and firing officers in the Hawks. The use of the Crime Intelligence slush fund for political campaigns and self-enrichment will also be covered in his testimony," said a source.

The commission is also expected to hear the testimony of Cope spokesperson and former MP Denis Bloem and architectural experts from the Department of Public Works.

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