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Robert McBride dismisses accusations of theft

The Ipid boss says he was legally entitled to take a security device from Shadrack Sibiya’s office.

FILE: Robert McBride. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride has dismissed allegations that he stole a sensitive security device from Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya's office, saying he was legally entitled to take it.

This is among the six charges Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has put to McBride who approached the High Court in Pretoria on Friday to interdict his suspension.

In the charge sheet, Nhleko says that a plausible reason for the removal of the device would be for McBride to tamper with evidence that incriminates him and national Hawks boss Anwa Dramat as well Sibiya.

Ipid has cleared Dramat and Sibiya of their involvement in the 2010 rendition of five Zimbabwean suspects, a finding the minister refuses to accept.

In court papers, McBride says Sibiya had informed him that two crime intelligence colonels intended seizing a secured data line in his office.

McBride says he visited Sibiya's office on 11 February this year and removed the device in terms of his powers in the Ipid Act.

The Institute for Security Studies's Johan Burger says McBride does have this authority.

"Ipid has the responsibility to investigate this case. That means they can talk to anybody and they can gather anything they believe might add to this investigation."

The question for Nhleko to explain is why crime intelligence officers were snooping around Sibiya's office.