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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

McBride set to spill the beans… at last

McBride’s testimony is expected to implicate at least 50 high-profile individuals in the murky world of compromised law enforcement agencies.

In what is expected to shed light into the murky world of the politically compromised South African law enforcement agencies, former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) director Robert McBride is set to reveal how former police minister Nathi Nhleko conspired with members of the parliamentary portfolio committee to remove him and ex-Hawks head Anwar Dramat from their positions.

McBride, who takes the stand at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Thursday, is also expected to speak on several other attempts to disrupt the work of Ipid and tarnish his image.

The long-awaited testimony, which those close to McBride expect to implicate at least 50 high-profile individuals, was yesterday postponed for the second time since February, following an application by evidence leader Paul Pretorius. In terms of the commission’s rule 33, those implicated should be given 14 days to apply to cross-examine witnesses whose evidence points to their wrongdoing.

Despite the application being granted, the commission’s head Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo could not hide his displeasure on the delay to the hearing, describing the failure of the legal team not to timeously serve the individuals with the required legal notices as “unacceptable”.

“The bottom line is that we are in this situation where an application for a postponement of Mr McBride’s hearing is made, despite the fact that the same application was granted on February 18,” said Zondo. “There can be no excuse why this was not done. It is simply not acceptable.”

Zondo reminded the team that the commission should “use every minute and hour to do the work and hear the witnesses”, saying he will not have a repeat of such postponement applications.

McBride’s testimony – expected to take two days – will be followed by that of retired Major-General Johan Booysen next week. He endured threats after investigating the R60 million contract to supply temporary accommodation for police in KwaZulu-Natal during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

He has already given testimony to the Mokgoro inquiry into the fitness of suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba and advocate Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.


McBride’s testimony is expected to explore, among other things, how:

  • Nhleko made use of the discredited Werkmans report to tarnish McBride’s image in the media by leaking its content to two Sunday newspapers;
  • His 18 months suspension from Ipid was overturned by the Constitutional Court – paving the way for him to return to work on October 19, 2016;
  • Innocent Khuba, a lead police investigator in a rendition project – which saw SA police and their Zimbabwean counterparts collaborate in the unlawful handing over of Zimbabwean nationals for prosecution – was suspended and later dismissed on instructions of Nhleko;
  • Ipid was briefed by independent investigator Paul O’Sullivan on serious allegations of corruption and money laundering, which involved former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane;
  • Phahlane set up a North West-based “Mabula Team” to counter the investigation into himself by Ipid – something that saw lawyer Sarah Jane-Trent’s cellphone being confiscated and later sent to Israel to be downloaded – in a bid to falsely implicate McBride and his team of investigators in wrongdoing;
  • The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) under former national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams, enabled the protection of several criminal suspects from prosecution in cases investigated by Ipid; and
  • The criminal justice cluster, which included the South African Police Service and the NPA, was captured.


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