Nhleko: McBride will interfere with investigations

The police minister served McBride with a letter of suspension, immediately relieving him of his duties.

Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko: Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has told Robert McBride in his letter of suspension, he believes the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head will interfere in investigations into the Zimbabwe rendition saga if he remains in his post.

Eyewitness News has obtained the notice of suspension that Nhleko served McBride with yesterday, relieving him of his duties with immediate effect for a maximum of 60 days.

The matter relates to two investigation reports into the 2010 rendition of five Zimbabwean suspects.

Ipid cleared two senior Hawks officials of their involvement in the crime, but Nhleko has relied on an earlier, preliminary report implicating the pair.

Nhleko says McBride has admitted that he refused an Ipid investigator permission to co-operate with the minister's own probe conducted by a private law firm.

McBride also admitted to removing a device from Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya's office.

The Ipid head said in his representations to the minister that he disallowed co-operation with Werksmans attorneys because he believed the investigation was illegal, and that he removed a device from Sibiya's office legally in terms of his mandate in the Ipid act.

But the police minister says McBride's actions were intended to interfere with the ongoing investigation into the existence of two Ipid reports into the Zimbabwe rendition.

The minister says the matter needs to be investigated in an environment free from interference and intimidation.

It's unclear at this stage whether the suspended Ipid head will challenge his suspension in court.

'MCBRIDE'S SUSPENSION NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED'

The police minister also denied that the suspension of Ipid head was a politically motivated purge.

Speaking on the sidelines of a firearms summit in Parliament, Nhleko was asked by journalists to explain Robert McBride's suspension.

He denied a political motive.

"These matters are not matters that you decide to do because you think it's the correct thing to do. There is a law to be followed. What does the law say in governing this particular institution? It was the correct thing to do, so far as the Public Services Act and the Ipid Act is concerned."