Ipid yet to tes­tify at com­mis­sion

Di­vi­sions in direc­torate blamed

Daily News - - NEWS - CHRIS NDALISO

THE deep di­vi­sions within the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid) are de­lay­ing the body from ap­pear­ing be­fore the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion of In­quiry into the po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Na­tal.

Mary de Haas, KZN vi­o­lence mon­i­tor and re­search fel­low at the Univer­sity of KwaZu­luNatal’s School of Law, said long-stand­ing di­vi­sions ex­ist in Ipid which she linked to the sus­pen­sion of the in­sti­tu­tion’s head, Robert McBride, who was re­in­stated in Oc­to­ber last year.

He was sus­pended in March 2015 for al­legedly al­ter­ing an Ipid report in­volv­ing a former Hawks di­rec­tor, Anwa Dra­mat.

“I do know that there are deep di­vi­sions in the na­tional of­fice. I also know that there are se­ri­ous prob­lems with the KZN of­fice, and my com­plaints are on record with the par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing the fact that it does not ful­fil its man­date in terms of Ipid leg­is­la­tion,” De Haas said.

At­tempts to get com­ment from McBride were un­suc­cess­ful.

The Daily News re­ported in Au­gust that Amar Ma­haraj, Ipid’s ethics man­ager, tes­ti­fied at the com­mis­sion of a myr- iad ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in how cases were ei­ther closed or com­pleted by Ipid KZN, at the in­struc­tion of se­nior man­age­ment, to boost per­for­mance statis­tics.

He fur­ther al­leged that the direc­torate was dysfunctional and com­pro­mised the safety of the poor, ad­ding that he had brought this to the at­ten­tion of Ipid KZN head Par­bathie Ma­haraj and no ac­tion was taken.

Re­ported cases of tor­ture, as­sault, rape, death in po­lice cus­tody and death as a re­sult of po­lice ac­tion were “closed” and “com­pleted” with­out proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Ma­haraj al­leged at the com­mis­sion.

Closed

He said for the 2015/16 pe­riod, Ipid closed 1 150 and com­pleted 1 490 cases, in­clud­ing those that hap­pened in Gle­be­lands Hos­tel.

He said only 59 cases were listed as hav­ing been re­ferred to the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity.

Vanessa Burger, an in­de­pen­dent com­mu­nity ac­tivist who had been re­port­ing Gle­be­lands Hos­tel-re­lated cases to Ipid, said she did not think that Ipid would ap­pear at the com­mis­sion and “at­test un­der oath – to what which it knows is not the truth”.

“That would be per­jury. The direc­torate has painted it­self into a cor­ner. If it tes­ti­fies in de- fence of the in­de­fen­si­ble, there are too many peo­ple who know the truth – too much ev­i­dence ex­ists, it could eas­ily open the door to le­gal ac­tion be­ing taken against it.

“It will lose what­ever cred­i­bil­ity it may still have left. If Ipid fails to tes­tify, the charges against it will stand – that the direc­torate is dysfunctional, dis­hon­est and has failed in its con­sti­tu­tional man­date.

“It will have no cred­i­bil­ity go­ing for­ward. The only thing left is for Ipid to come clean and ad­mit its wrong­do­ing to the com­mis­sion, to the pub­lic and to the vic­tims. Only then may the direc­torate re­gain a lit­tle cred­i­bil­ity,” Burger said.

Par­bathie Ma­haraj de­clined to com­ment.

Moses Dlamini, Ipid spokesper­son, said they would ap­pear be­fore the com­mis­sion. Ad­vo­cate Bheki Many­athi, com­mis­sion ev­i­dence leader, said Ipid was sched­uled to ap­pear last month, but with­drew.

“Yes­ter­day ( Wed­nes­day ) they called say­ing they wanted to ap­pear next week. I de­clined be­cause we al­ready have sit­tings ar­ranged for next week. You can’t call me to­day to say you want to ap­pear next week.

“We have the ANC lined up next week so even though there’s no spe­cific date, we ex­pect them to ap­pear in Novem­ber,” Many­athi said.

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