First on EWN: Call exposes McBride conspiracy

EWN learnt a telephone conversation exposed senior Hawks officials in a conspiracy to implicate McBride.

Robert McBride. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - Eyewitness News has learnt that an explosive telephone conversation has exposed senior Hawks officials in a conspiracy to implicate suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride in altering the so-called Zimbabwe rendition report.

A transcript shows details of a call between a Hawks colonel and the former head of the watchdog's Limpopo office, Innocent Khuba.

Khuba was fired last week for signing an affidavit stating that McBride played no part in altering the report to exonerate the implicated Hawks officials.

But Ipid management claimed that the statement was contradictory to the terms of a plea agreement he had reached days earlier with the employer where he pleaded guilty to dishonesty.

Former Hawks official Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya have been implicated in the arrest and rendition of five Zimbabwean suspects in 2010 but an Ipid investigation cleared them.

Khuba says in an affidavit that two days after he was fired, he was visited at his Polokwane home by Hawks brigadier Rammela and colonel Mahlangu.

He alleges that Ramela wanted him to draft a statement saying that McBride had pressured him into altering the rendition report.

Khuba declined, saying he wanted to speak to his lawyer.

He says the following day, Ramela arrived at his house with a perjury docket saying that if he did not draft the statement he would be arrested.

In a recorded telephone call the following day, Mahlangu told him that Hawks boss, Berning Ntlemeza is his friend and that he would be able to get his job back if he did the right thing.

Khuba says in the affidavit that "the visits by members of the Hawks have revealed that my employer's biggest problem is that I do not want to give a statement implicating McBride and (Matthews) Sesoko."

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi says there is nothing untoward in the telephone conversation. " What we read from the supposed telephone recording is two people talking about their trip to rural areas, talking about honesty and many other things."

Mulaudzi confirmed that Mahlangu is investigating Khuba on a charge of perjury. "Col Mahlangu, a member of the Hawks has every right to make contact with Khuba since he (Mahlangu) is the Investigating Officer of the Perjury case which was opened against Khuba.

Mulaudzi declined to comment on allegations of a conspiracy, saying he had not seen the affidavit adding that nothing could be read into the recorded conversation.

To read the full Hawks phone call conversation click here.