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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

McBride cites rot in police’s Ipid unit

'The matter of crime intelligence classifying documents is ongoing,' which renders Ipid unable to proceed with probes, he testified.

Officers’ rampant abuse of crime intelligence’s secret service account and the classified information strategy which shielded suspects from prosecution were among revelations made by Ipid former executive director Robert McBride to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture yesterday.

His evidence also covered:

  • His frustration with crime intelligence over collaborating in criminal investigations with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
  • His bad working relationship with former police minister Nathi Nhleko, who interfered in Ipid.
  • Use of an unofficial “first rendition report” on Zimbabweans to push ex-Hawks head Anwar Dramat out.

McBride also told the inquiry how crime intelligence covered up the plunder of state resources.

“People in charge of the agent network employed family members as agents and drew salaries and agent fees from the secret service account.

“There was also the case of prosecution against a senior crime intelligence officer which had to be stopped due to an investigation document being classified, making Ipid unable to proceed. The matter of crime intelligence classifying documents is ongoing.”

He said he had written to current Minister of Police Bheki Cele “for help to declassify documents, [but] resistance is still there.

“We have even signed a memorandum of understanding with the inspector-general of intelligence on the classification of crucial documents, which has hampered the oversight work of Ipid.”

McBride said the “second rendition report” was used by Nhleko to push Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks head Bheki Sibiya out and to suspend him.

“Before I was suspended, I wrote to the police portfolio committee chariperson, Francois Beukman, asking to be allowed to clarify that there were two media reports about contradicting reports on the rendition of Zimbabweans. Beukman rejected this offer.

“Some members of the portfolio committee, which comprised ANC members, held a meeting with Nhleko where my removal from office and that of Dramat were discussed.”

In his second report on the rendition allegations, McBride found no evidence against Sibiya and Dramat, but Nhleko used the first report, unsanctioned by McBride, which accused them of defeating the ends of justice.

McBride was suspended on the grounds he “altered the rendition report”.


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