Upon Robert McBride’s suspension from the helm of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), his replacement wasted no time in collecting information on sensitive investigations, the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Monday.
On Monday, McBride detailed what happened at Ipid when Israel Kgamanyane took over from him as the head of the directorate in 2015. McBride was suspended by then police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko who accused him of doctoring a report into the alleged unlawful renditions of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.
McBride faced criminal charges relating to the accusation, which was legitimised by an investigation by law firm Werksmans which had been appointed by Nhleko.
The charges were later withdrawn.
McBride was charged alongside former head of Ipid in Limpopo Innocent Khuba and Mathews Sesoko, the national head of investigations at Ipid.
On Monday, McBride told the commission that Kgamanyane began looking into three cases “as soon as” he was appointed as the acting head of Ipid. All three cases were being overseen my Sesoko prior to his suspension, McBride said.
According to McBride, Kgamanyane asked to be briefed on the investigation into Durban businessperson Thoshan Panday. The Panday investigation was into “serious irregularities” in R60-million worth of contracts between the South African Police Service and Panday during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The Panday matter was initially being investigated by then KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen. Ipid started investigating the matter after the directorate received a complaint from Booysen relating to interference in the case.
Booysen is expected to give evidence before the commission this week. During his testimony before the Mokgoro inquiry in February, Booysen alleged that Panday was in business with former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward.
According to McBride, Kgamanyane also went to Limpopo and the North West and collected dockets relating to cases in which former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza and North West deputy police commissioner Ntebo ‘Jan’ Mabula were implicated.
McBride told the commission that Kgamanyane called Khuba out of suspension to discuss the Ntlemeza case.
According to McBride, Kgamanyane transferred, suspended or dismissed at least eight Ipid officials during his 18-month stint as the acting head of Ipid.
“Key people are moved. There is no rational or reasonable explanation for why it was done,” McBride said of the changes Kgamanyane made to Ipid.
McBride further recounted how Kgamanyane allegedly artificially inflated the performance of Ipid in his absence. Kgamanyane reportedly reported an upshot in Ipid’s performance under his leadership to Parliament. “It was not accurate and it was untrue,” McBride said.
He further suggested that this artificial inflation of performance results follows a pattern that occurred in other institutions.
McBride told the commission that Tom Moyane followed a similar strategy when he took over from Ivan Pillay as South African Revenue Service commissioner in 2015. According to McBride, Ntlemeza also reported inflated performance results after was appointed the head of the Hawks the same year.
Ntlemeza took over from Anwa Dramat, who resigned after he was accused of being involved in the renditions saga.
McBride said, upon his return to Ipid in October 2016, he received no handover report from Kgamanyane. “I never saw him again,” McBride said of Kgamanyane, who was reportedly transferred to the Hawks at Nhleko’s behest.