Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride testified at the inquiry into state capture. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso  African News Agency (ANA)
Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate head Robert McBride testified at the inquiry into state capture. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA)

Focus on 'corrupt elements' within law enforcement as McBride concludes testimony

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Apr 16, 2019

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Johannesburg - Ex-Ipid boss Robert McBride has concluded his testimony at the Zondo commission where he sought to paint a law enforcement that is riddled with corrupt elements who use police processes to fight political agendas. 

McBride used his testimony to outline his challenges as the head of Ipid and the efforts by some police officials to hamper the work done by Ipid. 

On Tuesday he outlined how former police minister Nathi Nhleko hired a convicted criminal as his chief of staff. 

He said Leon Mbangwa was appointed despite the fact that he was a Zimbabwean national and used fraudulent identification. 

He said Mbangwa’s screening was proceeded through Ipid by former acting Ipid head Israel Kgamanyane. He questioned why Nhleko would insist on appointing an individual with a criminal record as his chief of staff. 

McBride also outlined how he along with two of Ipid investigators, Matthews Sesoko and Innocent Khuba were investigated by the Hawks’ Crime Against the State unit (Cats) for defeating the ends of justice. He said the charges against them were eventually dropped. 

McBride said the Cats unit was used for political agendas and it reported directly to former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. 

“This unit was used to pursue a political agenda and to target individuals within the criminal justice cluster who stood up against state capture. It is headed by Brigadier Nyameka Xaba who reported to Ntlemeza. The same unit investigated other fabricated cases against Minister Pravin Gordhan, the so-called Rogue Unit and seems to have taken instructions or worked with SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane,” he said. 

He also spoke about how former South African Police Services (SAPS) national commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane appointed a task team in an effort to stifle Ipid’s investigation into his allegedly improper relationship with SAPS service provider. 

Last week, McBride alleged that Nhleko had used a draft report into the Zimbabwean rendition to suspend former Hawks head Anwar Dramat. 

Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrick Sibiya had been accused of unlawfully handing over Zimbabwean fugitives to the Zimbabwean police in 2010. The suspects later died in custody.

McBride also told the Zondo commission how he believes the Werksmans Attorneys report, which was used to bring criminal charges against him, was rushed and came to the wrong conclusions regarding the Zimbabwean rendition matter. 
He explained how he was suspended by former police minister Nhleko for allegedly falsifying a second report into the Zimbabwean rendition matter. 
McBride was suspended in March 2015 and he was eventually charged with defeating the ends of justice following the recommendation of the Werksmans investigation and final report. He was charged along with two Ipid investigators. 

McBride said when returned from 18 months suspension he found a unit in distress with various employees having being shifted from posts and transferred to various departments and provinces. 

McBride said about 8 if not more, senior managers were affected by the transfers. He said junior staff was also moved around. 

The transfers cost Ipid around R1 million. 

He also explained how patronage was rampant within Saps and that it had to be tackled from the root in order for any changes to be seen. 

The former Ipid official said only a strong and willing Saps leadership would be able to tackle the issue of corruption within the police service
“And unless you have a strong hand about good governance, and respect for the rule of law and the constitution you will never get the SAPS right. It is a system that has not been challenged, it is a system on its own and affects all of our lives. We will have this commission, your lordship will make recommendations and they will be carried out but the patronage system within the SAPS will stay unchanged,” said McBride.

He said the most affected by corruption were the good policemen and women who feel demoralised as they watch those who have not earned their way up ranks getting promoted.

McBride’s testimony will be followed by that of former KwaZulu Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen on Wednesday.

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