The NPA has withdrawn charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice against Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride and his two co-accused, after telling the Pretoria High Court that its witnesses had been intimidated.
“After consultations … it has been apparent to the state that a prosecution would no longer be viable, and we withdraw all charges,” Prosecutor Sello Maema told the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday afternoon.
McBride and co, former Ipid senior employees Matthew Sesoko and Innocent Khuba, were charged in relation to their investigation of former Hawks head Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat for his involvement in the alleged illegal deportation of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.
McBride was accused by the elite crime fighting unit for altering a report into the incident and allegedly exonerating Dramat from criminal prosecution.
Prosecutors withdrew the charges after telling the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court that witnesses were reluctant to testify and consulting during the court’s lunch break with Torie Pistorius, the head of the National Prosecuting Authority’s priority crimes litigation unit.
McBride recently returned to his post as head of IPID after the Constitutional Court in September set aside his suspension by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, ruling that it was invalid.
– Additional reporting African News Agency