‘Police minister suppressing Ipid report for political reasons’

The allegation is contained in the Ipid boss’s affidavit, as he attempts to interdict his suspension.

FILE: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Police watchdog head Robert McBride has accused Police Minister Nathi Nhleko of trying to suppress an Independent Investigative Police Directorate (Ipid) report into the Zimbabwean renditions for illegitimate political reasons.

This allegation is contained in McBride's affidavit which he'll submit to the High Court in Pretoria today as he attempts to interdict the minister from suspending him.

Nhleko served the directorate's head with a notice of his intention to suspend him two days ago for alleged misconduct for his part in the rendition investigation.

At the centre of the fight is the purported existence of two reports, one exonerating two Hawks bosses, another implicating them.

The police minister has accused McBride of serious misconduct, for allegedly altering a report to clear Hawks bosses Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya of their involvement in the rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010.

But McBride says while a preliminary draft report implicated the pair, these findings were unsustainable on the evidence and were not included in the final report.

Ipid said it delivered copies of the Zimbabwean rendition dockets to the National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana and the minister.

He says the minister and senior members of the police have zealously sought the suspension of the two officers, by disingenuously relying on a draft report.

Mcbride says Nhleko's intention to suspend him is a clear strategy to undermine or suppress the report that clears Dramat and Sibiya.

The directorate's head notes with concern that all this action against the Hawks started when sensitive investigations, like the Nkandla probe, came their way.

McBride had also been asked to explain the existence of two reports that make vastly different recommendations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

MINISTER'S CONSTITUTIONAL CONDUCT QUESTIONED

McBride wants certain aspects of the Ipid act challenged and declared unconstitutional and unlawful because they appear to authorise the minister to remove the head of the directorate.

He specifically refers to the Glenister judgment which led to the independence of the Hawks.

The Helen Suzman Foundation relied on this ruling to declare Nhleko's suspension of Dramat unconstitutional, and invalid.

Proceedings are expected to get underway at about 10am in one of the urgent courts.

However, it's expected that the minister's legal team will request more time to study McBride's application before responding, but this will ultimately result in the suspension being delayed and McBride remaining in office.