Anwa Dramat: Now Nathi Nhleko meddling in IPID - Dianne Kohler Barnard

DA MP says minister's investigation into Robert McBride a thinly veiled attempt to legitimise his unlawful suspension of Hawks' boss

Hawks: McBride investigation a thinly veiled diversion by Police Minister

9 March 2015

Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, has allegedly instituted an investigation into the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Robert McBride. This, the DA believes, is a thinly veiled attempt by the Police Minister to use McBride as a scapegoat in a last-ditch effort to legitimise his unlawful suspension of the Head of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat and his unlawful insertion of an Acting Head of the Hawks. Minister Nhleko, throughout this debacle, has acted outside his authority with what the DA believes is complete contempt for the law (see City Press report).

As such I have, once again, written to the Chairperson of the Police Portfolio Committee, Francois Beukman, requesting that Minister Nhleko be immediately investigated by the Committee for his interference at the IPID and his unlawful conduct when he suspended Dramat in contravention of a Constitutional Court order prohibiting him from doing so without the permission of Parliament. 

Minister Nhleko alleges that McBride doctored the IPID's report into the illegal renditions of Zimbabweans in 2010 to shield the Hawks boss from any involvement in wrongdoing. He has instituted this investigation without providing a shred of evidence to support this serious claim.

This attempt by the Police Minister to rid himself of the IPID's Executive Director is the latest move to exert political influence on an institution. Parliament must step in and conduct a thorough investigation into the Minister's handling of this entire matter.

In this investigation Minister Nhleko must be summoned to the Police Committee to answer for his unlawful suspension of Dramat in the first instance, his unlawful insertion of an Acting Head of the Hawks and to provide prima facie evidence into what appears to be a baseless investigation into McBride. 

Chairperson Beukman cannot ignore our requests to put Minister Nhleko's conduct before the Committee while the Minister continues to act out his nefarious political agenda for these critical crime fighting institutions all in increasingly desperate manoeuvres to protect Number 1.

If the Chairperson ignores or declines our request, he is in fact condoning the Police Minister's conduct and is implicit in the systematic erosion of these crime fighting bodies.

It simply cannot be that a member of Cabinet is allowed free reign to carry out his political agenda without parliamentary oversight. Parliament is duty-bound to step in and protect our state institutions when a politically expedient Executive refuses to do so.

The DA will persist in its endeavour to have the Police Minister investigated and held to account.

Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, DA Shadow Minister of Police, March 9 2015

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