Former Ipid head Robert McBride has detailed to the commission of inquiry investigating the alleged capture of the state how officers abused crime intelligence’s secret service account and classified information as part of a strategy to shield suspects from prosecution.
The former watchdog body boss started testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry on Thursday.
“People in charge of the agent network employed family members as agents and drew salaries and agent fees from the secret service account,” said McBride.
“There was also the case of prosecution against a senior crime intelligence officer which had to be stopped due to an investigation document being classified, making Ipid unable to proceed. The matter of crime intelligence classifying documents is ongoing.”
The commission has now moved on to dealing with the capture of institutions within the criminal justice system, such as Ipid, the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after its investigation into state-owned companies in the previous weeks.
McBride told the commission that there was an attack on anti-corruption bodies and that his suspension in 2015 was part of a process to take control of the independent bodies.
He added that Crime Intelligence compiled the dockets which led to the removal of Hawks head Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya.
“Before I was suspended, I wrote to the police portfolio committee chairperson, Francois Beukman, asking to be allowed to clarify that there were two media reports about contradicting reports on the rendition of Zimbabweans. Beukman rejected this offer.
“Some members of the portfolio committee, which comprised of ANC members, held a meeting with Nhleko where my removal from office and that of Dramat were discussed.”
The former Ipid boss added that there was a concerted effort to weaken Ipid.
“It’s to cover up crimes that have been committed before,” he said, “and crimes that were planned to take place in the future. I was not the only person who has come to that conclusion.”