Mcbride fingered for dirty tricks
Ipid investigator says he and others were instructed to tarnish names of top cops
ATOP Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigator claims he was suspended after he exposed how his boss, Robert Mcbride, had demanded that he and other investigators act unethically.
Ipid senior investigator Cedric Nkabinde was suspended on Monday after he had written a letter to Police Minister Bheki Cele in April detailing the rot at the directorate.
However, Ipid’s spokesperson, Moses Dlamini, said Nkabinde was disgruntled and did not support his allegations with evidence.
Nkabinde laid the blame squarely on Mcbride, who was appointed Ipid head in 2014.
He alleged that Mcbride instructed him and other Ipid investigators to “target and push out” former acting police commissioners Khomotso Phahlane, Lesetja Mothiba and the current commissioner, General Khehla Sitole.
He alleged that Mcbride wanted the commissioner’s position for himself, therefore he waged a dirty tricks campaign to scupper those in the running for the post.
On Mcbride’s instruction, they allegedly leaked information to the media and monitored and bugged cellphones of people they investigated, he alleged.
Nkabinde was an SAPS member for eight years before working as a senior Ipid investigator in 2012.
He saids an 11-member team called the Phahlane Task Team was set up specifically to investigate the former acting national commissioner.
Phahlane previously faced charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption related to allegations that businessman Durand Snyman had given him and his wife, Beauty, vehicles that were paid for by a police contractor who received billions in forensic contracts in exchange.
The charges were dropped on Thursday in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria.
While Nkabinde’s letter said there was nothing amiss with investigating people, it was untoward when they were given instructions to tarnish the images of individuals like Phahlane, Mothiba and Sitole.
He said this was contrary to Ipid’s mission of conducting independent, impartial and quality investigations of identified criminal offences allegedly committed by SAPS and metro police members.
When they made recommendations, these had to be in line with the Ipid Act, which demanded the highest standard of integrity and excellence.
In the letter Nkabinde wrote to Cele he claimed that his suspension was a way of silencing him, which he said was contrary to the Protected Disclosures Act, which was enacted to protect whistleblowers.
He said the reason he had blown the whistle was because the directorate was collapsing under Mcbride’s watch.
“The unethical conduct of Ipid’s executive director, Mr Robert Mcbride, has the consequence of bringing the directorate into disrepute,” Nkabinde wrote.
“These investigations cannot be seen to be objective or independent because the instruction given by the executive director, Mcbride, was to damage the image of Phahlane in order for him not to be confirmed as a permanent national commissioner.”
Nkabinde also suggested an enquiry into Mcbride’s unethical conduct be instituted and criminal charges be considered before he further entrenched Ipid into “unsalvageable disrepute”.
In Nkabinde’s letter of suspension, which the Sunday Tribune has seen, the grounds for his suspension were:
*Leakage of information to external people and or media.
*Compromising investigations conducted by Ipid.
*Bringing the name of the Ipid, its executive director (Mcbride) and other senior managers into disrepute.
*Prejudicing the administration, discipline or efficiency of a department office or institutions of the state.
Cele declined to comment, saying it was an internal matter that his ministry was dealing with.
An Ipid source who asked not to be named said urgent intervention was needed before the directorate collapsed.
“Things are getting worse by the day. It seems like we have conveniently chosen to throw out of the window our mandate and start serving other interests,” said the source.
Dlamini said Nkabinde had been removed from the special task team and deployed to Kwazulu-natal.
“Mcbride invited him to provide evidence to support his allegations. He never did. He was removed from the task team after allegations emerged that he had been offered a post by crime intelligence in return for implicating Mcbride in wrongdoing,” said Dlamini.