IPID investigator told to 'falsely implicate' McBride, Zondo commission hears
Innocent Khuba, who was the lead investigator in the so-called Zimbabwe rendition matter, was allegedly asked to "falsely implicate" former head of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Robert McBride and another investigator, Matthew Sesoko. McBride revealed this on Monday during his third day of testimony at the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. Khuba was allegedly told to write a statement, saying that McBride and Sesoko forced him to change the rendition report.
But Khuba refused to do this, the commission heard. "After Mr Khuba is dismissed, he was approached by officers from [the Hawks] and promised his job on condition he made a false statement saying that I had forced him to change the rendition report. "He was visited over a period... and [over] a number of days on this occasion and on the last day of those series of visits he recorded a phone call... of one of the people who had visited him," McBride said. Khuba was allegedly called by a colonel Mahlangu from the Hawks.
In the phone recording, which was played at the hearing, the man is heard saying that former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza won't forget him if he does what was "discussed" and that he will be reinstated to his position. The recording and the transcripts are in the possession of the commission. The man further tells Khuba that Ntlemeza is his friend. "Khuba is dismissed in an unfairly, in a very unprocedural way. Once he is sitting at home... they come to offer him his job back to be restored," McBride told Zondo.
Khuba was suspended on May 21, 2015, along with McBride and Sesoko on allegations of altering the investigation report into the Zimbabwe rendition with McBride and Seseko. He was later dismissed by Israel Kgamanyane, who acted in McBride's position during his suspension. There were two contradictory reports into the rendition matter. One report was a preliminary report which recommended that former Hawks head Anwa Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya be prosecuted.
However, a final report, signed by McBride (after he took office in 2014), was also signed by Khuba and Matthews Sesoko and found that evidence related to Sibiya could not support prosecution. Further investigations revealed there was no element of crime committed relating to Dramat in the rendition case. McBride claimed then Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko used the preliminary report to suspend Dramat, who was later forced into early retirement.
Nhleko then tasked Werksman, a private law firm, to probe the two IPID reports. The Werksman report was then used to institute criminal charges against McBride and two other investigators in the rendition case. During his testimony on Monday McBride said he stood by the second IPID report and that he was adamant that no court in South Africa will ever be able to convict Generals Sibiya or Dramat in relation to the so-called rendition case.