FIREWORKS EXPECTED WHEN INQUIRY RESUMES
Former top cops will be among the first to testify before the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector and will spill the beans on how former president Jacob Zuma allegedly masterminded the capture of the country’s law enforcement agencies.
When the Zondo commission resumes in two weeks’ time, ousted Hawks head Anwa Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks boss Shadrack Sibiya will testify about events leading up to their dismissals in 2015, sources say. Together with Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride, they will tell the commission’s Judge Raymond Zondo about attempts to capture the SA Police Service, the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority and Ipid.
The three separately held meetings with the commission’s investigators this week and last month.
Sources familiar with the discussions told City Press that Dramat would testify about how former police minister Nathi Nhleko allegedly pushed him out of his job.
“He will testify about how the rendition case [of five Zimbabwean nationals], which was initiated by crime intelligence, was used as a smokescreen to get rid of himself, Sibiya and former top police officer Leslie Maluleke,” said one source.
“He will also tell the commission about the political pressure to drop several high-profile investigations, including one into the arms deal, and how Nhleko was willing to do whatever it took for him [Dramat] to vacate the Hawks’ top job. Dramat is also expected to testify about how Nhleko interfered in the running of the police and the Hawks, and also about how Nhleko accused him of behaving like the Scorpions, which was accused of targeting politicians.”
City Press understands that Dramat, Sibiya and McBride’s testimony will place Zuma and Nhleko at the centre of the capture of law enforcement agencies. Four highly placed sources told City Press the three would also testify about how Zuma failed to prevent state capture and ignored warnings about it. They said the testimony would shed light on how police officers and prosecutors were involved in political battles and smear campaigns.
“The evidence by McBride will implicate Nhleko in paralysing law enforcement agencies by hiring and firing officers in the Hawks. The use of the crime intelligence slush fund for political campaigns and self-enrichment will also be covered in his testimony,” said a source.
Other sources familiar with Sibiya’s testimony told City Press that he would speak about how his problems began after he arrested former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli, and investigated a senior prosecutor for defeating the ends of justice.
He will also testify about how several false cases were opened against him and how Nhleko, through former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza, unlawfully fired him after crime intelligence manufactured intelligence reports and placed him under surveillance in the build-up to his dismissal.
“He will also reveal how law firms and a popular lawyer were instrumental in executing the capture of the security cluster and, ultimately, his dismissal,” another source said.
Mdluli’s lawyer, Ike Motloung, yesterday said he was not aware of any statements made to commission investigators implicating his client. McBride and Sibiya confirmed they had been approached to testify before the commission, but refused to confirm or deny information about the testimony they were due to provide. Dramat refused to comment.
Nhleko did not respond to calls, texts and voicemails to his personal cellphone number yesterday.
Zondo commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela said it had not yet finalised its list of witnesses who would be the first to testify when the hearings resumed. Zuma’s spokesman, Vukile Mathabela did not respond to calls and SMSes at the time going to print.