Johannesburg – Former Ipid boss Robert McBride has told the Zondo commission he believes the Werksmans Attorneys report, used to bring criminal charges against him, was rushed and came to the wrong conclusions regarding the Zimbabwean rendition matter.
McBride resumed his testimony on Friday and explained how he was suspended by former police minister Nathi 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.
On Thursday McBride explained that when he was appointed as Ipid head in 2014 he decided to re-evaluate the Zimbabwe rendition matter.
The matter involved former Hawks head Anwa Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrick Sibiya, who had been accused of unlawfully handing over Zimbabwean fugitives to the Zimbabwean police in 2010. The suspects later died in custody.
McBride says the final report and the provisional report on the rendition differed. The first report had recommended that Dramat and Sibiya be prosecuted regarding their involvement in the rendition matter.
The final report, which was compiled under McBride’s supervision, recommended that no charges be brought against Sibiya and Dramat.
McBride said those recommendations were based on the fact that cellphone records showed that Sibiya and Dramat were not in the area where the rendition took place.
Nhleko took issue with McBride for the second final report which was compiled and accused him of falsifying the report.
This is the reason he gave to suspend McBride and also appoint Werksmans to investigate the matter.
McBride also accused Nhleko of interfering in Werksmans investigation by contacting Ipid investigator Innocent Khuba while the investigation was underway.
Nhleko even invited Khuba to Cape Town on his expense. McBride believes the purpose was to influence the investigation.
McBride was arrested in 2016 a year after the Werksmans report was released.
The charges were dropped in November 2016 and McBride believes the charges had no basis and were pushed by those who had an ulterior motive.
“My view in this instance was that they (Werksmans) got it wrong and jumped to conclusions. It was a hurried report , this was just a process to ultimately nail us at the end.”
McBride also accused Nhleko of not understanding and respecting the independence of Ipid.
“The minister did not understand the notion of the independence of Ipid. He did not understand where his authority begins and ends,” he said.
The inquiry continues.