Ac­cu­sa­tion of bias taints McBride

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

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.

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