Accusation of bias taints McBride
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride (pictured) has been accused of protecting a provincial head who is facing charges of breaching processes by recommending her son for the position of senior investigator.
McBride allegedly lifted the suspension of Ipid Gauteng head Azande Ntshangase, which means she will not face internal disciplinary processes for allegedly abusing authority, dishonesty and contravening the code of conduct on the hiring of staff.
McBride lifted the suspension when he returned to work in October after his 16-month suspension after allegations that he falsified a report claiming that former Hawks unit head Anwa Dramat was innocent of the unlawful renditions of Zimbabwean nationals.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said McBride had indicated in his letter to staff, dated October 19 2016, that he would review the transfers and disciplinary actions that were conducted in his absence.
“Accordingly, he took advice and withdrew the malicious disciplinary actions and transfers, which were pursued with ulterior purposes,” Dlamini said.
McBride’s role in the setting aside of Ntshangase’s suspension came into the open this week when the directorate’s Gauteng investigations director, Daniel Morema, divulged details of the matter after he resigned.
Morema said he faced “intolerable victimisation” at Ipid and could not have revealed this information while in the directorate’s employ.
He told City Press that he was assigned to investigate Ntshangase after a whistle-blower complained to the Public Service Commission in 2015 about nepotism. “Ntshangase was suspended in 2015, but she did not attend any disciplinary hearings because she always gave excuses that she was sick. When McBride came back, he lifted her suspension despite all the evidence against her,” Morema said.
According to the charge sheet, Ntshangase was charged for failing to disclose to then acting Ipid executive director Israel Kgamanyane that Maqhawe Dlodlo was her biological son when he was recommended for a senior investigator post in 2015.
Ntshangase, the charge sheet says, took over the administration process for the recruitment of an investigator and prepared the interview programme without involving a human resources administrator.
“The programme prepared by yourself,” reads the charge sheet, “included your son as one of the candidates grouped only with external candidates in order to advantage him.”
Dlodlo’s imminent employment, though he had scored the highest marks among the candidates, was halted pending an investigation into his mother’s role. He was eventually not employed.
Other charges against Ntshangase included gross dishonesty and contravention of the public service code of conduct for failing to disclose her personal relationship with two more candidates – a secretary and an administration clerk – and accepting their statements that they had previously worked with her at the SA Police Service when they had not. Ntshangase said her son had made the decision to apply for the post and she could not have stopped him. “My son was never appointed and I was not on the panel,” she said. “I never pleaded to any charges. The first chairperson of the disciplinary committee was asked to recuse himself because he was recorded talking about my case, and by the time they got a new chairperson, McBride had come back. McBride asked Kgamanyane to give a report on all the disciplinary and other issues and he refused. I got a call to come back to work and I complied,” Ntshangase said. However, documents that include affidavits indicate that officials felt that Ntshangase was biased in favour of her son over the other candidates. One document shows that she completed a reference check for Dlodlo’s competencies, while another indicates that she recommended her son’s appointment. Dlamini confirmed that McBride asked Kgamanyane for a handover report to understand the “rationale for the numerous transfers, suspensions and disciplinary actions against Ipid staff”, but he refused.