Former IPID boss Robert McBride took the stand at the Zondo Commission and detailed how different law enforcement agencies in the country were captured.
After two postponements, former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) executive director Robert McBride finally appeared before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry on Thursday, 11 April 2019, and detailed how law enforcement agencies were corrupted and captured during his five-year tenure at IPID.
During his testimony, McBride told the commission about how suspensions, transfers and bogus disciplinary hearings took place at key law enforcement agencies such as the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Hawks and the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
McBride told the commission that there was an attack on anti-corruption institutions, adding that this manifested in the suspension of anti-corruption institution bosses who were replaced with pliant officials.
“My suspension was part of that process to take control of independent anti-corruption bodies and remove their heads and to replace them with people who wouldn’t carry out the task diligently,” he said.
McBride told the commission that there were several cases that should have been investigated during his tenure. These included Colonel Navin Madhoe’s alleged attempt to offer former Hawks’ KwaZulu-Natal boss Johan Booysen a R2 million bribe to drop Durban businessman Thoshan Panday’s fraud charges, the fraud case against former acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, ex-Crime Intelligence Divisional Commissioner Richard Mdluli, also for fraud, and another top cop Major-General Ntebo ‘Jan’ Mabula’s reported torture of suspects, including police officers.
“Any request for information from Crime Intelligence, except for a brief period, is generally met with resistance. Very often, Crime Intelligence will resort to the classification of documents in contravention of the policy of minimum security standards, which forbids the use of classification to cover-up maladministration or criminal conduct,” McBride said.
The former IPID boss told the commission that the mandate was clearly to conceal past, present and future planned crime and corruption deals. He detailed how, during his suspension in 2015, four Crime Intelligence officers had taken over investigations at IPID. He explained that Crime Intelligence officers were not supposed to have access to IPID documents because their duty was to provide information to other police units as they are not allowed to testify in court to protect their identities.