McBride hits back at Mkhwebane's report: 'It is irrational, findings can't be reconciled with facts'

Former IPID boss Robert McBride at the commission into state capture.
Former IPID boss Robert McBride at the commission into state capture.
Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24

Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) boss Robert McBride has accused Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's recent report into allegations of maladministration against him as an "erosion of IPID's independence". 

McBride said the recent report was likely to interrupt IPID's investigations into the alleged corruption and looting within the police as the report implicates most of IPID's executive members.

The complaint against McBride was lodged with Mkhwebane's office in June 2018 by former IPID investigator Cedrick Nkabinde.

Nkabinde's complaint details alleged irregular appointments, maladministration and protected disclosure regarding alleged unethical conduct by McBride.

The former investigator had complained about the alleged irregular appointment of Theresa Botha as a deputy director at IPID - she was previously an administrative clerk with the police.

In her report, Mkhwebane said Nkabinde's complaint that IPID suspended him in retaliation against his protected disclosure regarding the alleged unethical conduct by McBride and the grievance against the alleged irregular appointment of Botha was "substantiated". 

READ: IPID investigator told to 'falsely implicate' McBride, Zondo commission hears

"The complainant was subjected to a disciplinary hearing/occupational detriment by IPID and charged for reasons that was patently or causally related to his making of a protected disclosure as defined, thereby improperly prejudicing him as he had to later resign by conducting a settlement agreement with IPID," read the report.

However, in a statement issued on Wednesday, McBride hit back at Mkhwebane's report, saying the timing was "suspicious in that the release is on the eve of the widely anticipated testimony of senior IPID investigators at the Zondo commission into state capture at which evidence started today [Wednesday]".

"It is clear that the intention is to disrupt the functioning of IPID," he said.

ALSO READ: IPID officers allegedly 'coerced' into destroying Phahlane probe

McBride added he intended to consult with his attorneys after studying the report, saying he would approach the High Court for an interdict against Mkhwebane's remedial actions directed against him.

He said he would also take the "highly questionable" report on review.

McBride stated Mkhwebane failed to take into consideration that the majority of the report dealt with a complaint which was previously investigated by the public service commission and found to be unsubstantiated.

"The [Public Protector's] report is clearly reviewable. It is irrational as the findings cannot be reconciled with the facts.

"IPID must also defend its employees against this fight-back campaign. If not, IPID will become a tool in the hands of the corrupt and succumb to political pressure."

Last year, Nkabinde resigned from the police watchdog in terms of a settlement agreement. The agreement, seen by News24, stated the resignation was by mutual agreement and not a dismissal.

In May 2018, he wrote a letter to Police Minister 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".

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