News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
11 Apr 2019
11:39 am

Were SA law enforcement agencies deliberately manipulated or weakened?

Makhosandile Zulu

Advocate Paul Pretorius says this is the essential question Robert McBride's testimony will seek to answer today.

Then suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride at the Constitutional Court during the hearing of his case regarding his suspension on May 17, 2016 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images

Evidence leader at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday advocate Paul Pretorius said former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride’s testimony at the inquiry would seek to ask and answer the disturbing question whether South Africa’s law enforcement agencies were deliberately manipulated and weakened to protect high profile persons.

McBride’s sworn statement to the commission is set to lift the lid on how law enforcement agencies failed to carry out their mandate.

Besides implicating high-profile persons, McBride’s testimony would deal with attempts to undermine the mandate and role of the Ipid.

Former president Jacob Zuma, ministers, and senior state officials are expected to be among those implicated by McBride.

Pretorius said the question whether the country’s law enforcement agencies were deliberately manipulated and weakened would further seek to determine whether these agencies were used to prosecute selected persons, government officials, or members of the executive to “to further the aims of corruption and state capture”.

McBride’s evidence will deal principally with the Ipid, Pretorius said, which will relate to a number of topics, including the removal of persons from positions of authority through various means, the alleged and undue and unwarranted promotion of certain individuals, including allegations of nepotism and whether senior police officials and high-ranking political office bearers were actively and passively protected through non-prosecution.

“We will talk about the unjustified withdrawal of criminal cases linked to politically associated individuals. We will also deal with the alleged abuse of state funds, including the abuse of the secret service account for the procurement of safe houses, vehicles, and overseas travels and other benefits for beneficiaries who were not entitled,” said Pretorius.

Other questions, among several, that the commission will deal with during McBride’s testimony include why the Scorpions were disbanded in 2009 when statistics indicate the unit operated at an optimal level and, ultimately, why the inquiry had to be established if the law enforcement agencies in their current state operated properly.

Watch the proceedings live courtesy of the SABC:

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