Police minister's conduct in Ipid probe questioned

Suggestions of political interference continue to plague Ipid’s probe into the Zimbabwean renditions saga.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko: Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's conduct in relation to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is being questioned, as suggestions of political interference continue to plague the ongoing Zimbabwean rendition saga.

The police watchdog has confirmed that two senior Hawks officials have been cleared of their involvement in the 2010 rendition of five Zimbabweans, a finding the minister refuses to accept.

In a letter, Nhleko sent to Ipid head Robert Mcbride in November last year, he asked not only for reports on the rendition but for the entire docket, including exhibits and witness statements.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS)'s Johan Burger today said the Ipid Act clearly sets out where the police minister is involved.

"Ipid needs to notify the minister when they refer the case to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that is the only relationship as far as criminal investigations are concerned."

The Helen Suzman Foundation's Chris Peters said the legislation provides for an oversight role for the minister, nothing more.

"Where in the act does it actually provide for this collection of information to include dockets and reports?"

Nhleko's office says the minister is empowered by provisions in the Constitution that permit him to perform his oversight role, which includes obtaining case dockets.