Zondo commission: First IPID report into Zimbabwe renditions was never withdrawn - Nhleko

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Former police minister Nathi Nhleko at the state capture commission.
Former police minister Nathi Nhleko at the state capture commission.
Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images
  • Former police minister Nathi Nhleko decided IPID's first report into the Zimbabwe renditions was the final report.
  • The first report implicated former Hawks bosses Shadrack Sibiya and Anwa Dramat in the renditions.
  • IPID, however, said the first report was preliminary and the second one, which it gave to Nhleko, was the final one.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate's (IPID) first report into the now infamous Zimbabwe rendition was never nullified nor withdrawn, which is why former police minister Nathi Nhleko remained resolute that it was the final report.

This was Nhleko's evidence on Wednesday, where he spent his third day testifying before the commission of inquiry into state capture.

He has been implicated in wrongdoing by several people, including former IPID boss Robert McBride.

Much of Nhleko's testimony has been focused on the two IPID reports into the so-called illegal rendition of five Zimbabweans between November 2010 and January 2011.

The first report - dated 22 January 2014 - by directorate investigator Innocent Khuba found former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya and former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat had been involved in the renditions and should be criminally charged.

READ | Zondo commission: Nhleko did not seek clarification from IPID on two rendition reports

The second report - dated 18 March 2014 - found no evidence incriminating Sibiya and Dramat in relation to the rendition case.

Khuba previously told the commission the first report was preliminary, and that analysis of the cell phone records of Dramat and Sibiya were still outstanding.

On Wednesday, it was put to Nhleko that the second report was never passed off as the first report - as evidenced by the different dates on the reports.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo added that IPID could not have intended that both reports be taken as valid.

This was also evidenced by the fact that only the second report was sent to Nhleko by McBride.

READ | State capture: IPID reports on Zimbabwe renditions pointed to cover-up - Nhleko

Nhleko previously testified that he got the first report, but could not remember who gave it to him. He said he had asked staff members in the police ministry to find the report.

Zondo also repeatedly asked how the first report could have been taken as the final report, if it was common knowledge that there was evidence outstanding.

The first report was ultimately used to suspend Dramat, who was then replaced by General Berning Ntlemeza.

On Wednesday, Nhleko conceded the second report did not purport to be the first report, but questioned the validity of the second report.

He told the commission that, if IPID wanted to replace the first report, they would have written to make that clear.

READ | State capture: McBride, former police minister butted heads over contradictory Zimbabwe rendition reports

"You must state that this report replaces the other report on the same subject matter, and you have to state your reasons for that," Nhleko said.

Nhleko added that the first report had not been withdrawn, and that the second report could not have been supplementary as there was no new information.

"They are the same, all you have is material facts removed from the second."

The former minister was steadfast in his view that the first report had not been nullified and the second report had been "tampered" with.

Nhleko also commissioned a private law firm to look into the issue of the two reports - the findings of which he used to suspend McBride.

To Nhleko, the entire ordeal was nothing more than employer-employee relations unfolding.

He insisted that he had acted within the letter of the law and the interest of the public.

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