Ipid yet to testify at commission
Divisions in directorate blamed
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.
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.