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How McBride handled Ipid cases being closed prematurely

Robert McBride has now admitted that he was aware of this practice from as far back as 2014 and not just when he was suspended.

FILE: Robert McBride said he acted on these findings. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Ipid head Robert McBride said on Tuesday that once he was made aware of cases being prematurely completed by pressured investigators, he made strides to stop this practice.

McBride has now admitted that he was aware of this practice from as far back as 2014 and not just when he was suspended.

Investigative unit Viewfinder has made documents available to Eyewitness News in which a paper trail of reports by the Public Protector’s office and Ipid’s risk and ethics department point to a systemic failure to properly investigate cases.

EWN has seen three provincial reports from site visits compiled by then-head of ethics and risk Amar Maharaj, alerting McBride of the officers' concerns in 2014.

McBride said he acted on these findings.

“During the lekgotla, we set up new units to look at these dockets. We did away with the words of ‘closing cases’ and introduced the term ‘decision-ready’ which means the evidence was ready to be submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority or police for disciplinary measures to take place. Those are the interventions I had put in place.”

Some of the cases that are alleged to have been closed without proper investigation include those of rape, death as a result of police action and death in police custody. Despite the Public Protector ringing the alarm way back in 2012, there is no evidence to show that the issue was ever dealt with.

‘NO EVIDENCE’

In a statement, Ipid dismissed the allegations as untested and unproven.

Ipid said it had no evidence that its investigators had been prematurely closing cases to manipulate the number of completed investigations.

Ipid’s management said there was no evidence of completion rates statistics being manipulated during the 2015/2016 financial year.

The directorate said its integrity strengthening unit was currently inspecting dockets to determine if there was any merit to the allegations.

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