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Ipid found no criminal evidence against Dramat & Sibiya, inquiry hears

Ipid investigator Matthews Sesoko made this submission at the public hearings in Parktown where he was called to corroborate the evidence of the police watchdog body’s former head Robert McBride.

A screengrab of Ipid's Matthews Sesoko appearing at the Zondo Commission on 25 September 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission of inquiry heard how an analysis of the evidence against former Hawks bosses Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya revealed there was no case of misconduct or criminality against the pair.

Senior Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigator Matthews Sesoko made this submission at the public hearings in Parktown on Wednesday where he was called to corroborate the evidence of the Ipid's former head Robert McBride.

Dramat and Sibiya were accused of unlawfully deporting Zimbabwean suspects back to their home country. Neither of the pair is still employed by the Hawks.

Sesoko said he and the investigator of the so-called rendition case, Innocent Khuba, assessed the evidence before compiling a report.

“Based on the analysis of the available evidence at the time, we came to the conclusion that there wasn’t enough evidence to come to the conclusion that there was any misconduct or criminality that can be proven on the part of general Sibiya and Dramat,” he said.

Sesoko also testified that former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was a key role player in efforts to have Dramat and Sibiya unlawfully removed from office and criminally prosecuted.

It's alleged that elements within Crime Intelligence, the National Prosecuting Authority and politicians conspired against the pair.

Sesoko said he was told by an investigator in the so-called rendition matter about a conversation he had had with a state prosecutor. He said they learned days later what the prosecutor was referring to.

“We then received a letter from the then-Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko requesting the rendition docket. The letter was received by the executive director [McBride], then he called me into a meeting with him asking for my advice. I read the letter and I indicated to Mr McBride that it’s inappropriate for the minister to ask for a docket of our investigation,” he said.

WATCH: Zondo Inquiry turns spotlight on Ipid

INTERFERENCE

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has lamented the dire state of the relationship between Ipid and the police to the point that the watchdog body had to approach the courts to stop interference in their investigations.

Sesoko has told the commission about Ipid's fraud and corruption investigation of former National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and the counter investigations of their team, which were aimed at derailing the case.

He told Zondo that despite all their efforts to engage with police management, Ipid approached the courts for an interdict as a last resort.

“For one law enforcement agency to have to go to court to get an interdict against other law enforcement people to say ‘don’t interfere with our processes,’ to reach that stage, things must be very bad,” Zondo remarked.

To which Sesoko replied: “Chair, it was bad.”

Sesoko said it became clear that some police officers were more equal than others.

“When we investigate law ranking officers, we never get any interference. But you start investigating generals, then you get this kind of interference. Hence, I saw we even had to go to court to get an order to stop them from interfering with our investigation.”