Yet another head has rolled over the long-running Zimbabwean rendition saga. Matthews Sesoko, the director of legal services and investigations at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), was yesterday dismissed despite being in hospital for an undisclosed illness.
But his attorney, Thabang Mathibe, charged that Sesoko’s dismissal was illegal and that they would be approaching the Labour Court.
Sesoko’s lawyer on Tuesday appeared before a disciplinary panel on charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice. Sesoko had allegedly altered a report to cover up the alleged role of Hawks boss Anwa Dramat in the rendition of five Zimbabweans to the Zimbabwean police in 2010 and 2011.
“Midway through the cross-examination of Ipid’s witness, Advocate Anthony Mosing, the chairperson, cut short our cross-examination and handed him over for re-examination by the counsel for the employer,” said Mathibe. “That obviously had a ripple effect because, as the employer only had one witness, they closed their case. We then wanted the employee [Sesoko] to be the first witness and, in his absence, couldn’t do that.”
Mathibe claimed the presiding officer, Advocate Mxolisi Zondo, wouldn’t grant an extension, and Sesoko was dismissed.
Zondo also chaired the disciplinary proceedings against the former head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Shadrack Sibiya, and for Mathibe, this too was problematic, as it meant the advocate had prior intimate knowledge of the matter.
“He has already prejudged the matter and there is no way he could have come to a different decision when it came to Sesoko,” Mathibe said, adding that his request for Zondo’s recusal was declined.
Ipid spokesperson Robbie Raburabu yesterday said Sesoko was charged with gross misconduct involving dishonesty and defeating the ends of justice.
“The chairperson of the disciplinary hearing found him guilty as charged and pronounced a sanction of dismissal,” said Raburabu. Sesoko, together with suspended Ipid head Robert McBride and the fired Ipid provincial head of Limpopo, Innocent Khuba, were accused of unlawfully altering a report into the alleged illegal rendition of Zimbabwean nationals during November 2010 and January 2011.