New Mkhwebane report implicates McBride and Ipid – but they say they haven’t received it

Then suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride at the Constitutional Court during the hearing of his case regarding his suspension on May 17, 2016 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images

The directorate and its former boss ‘irregularly appointed’ a cellphone expert to analyse death threats, the report finds.

A report released by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane finds the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and its former head Robert McBride guilty of procurement irregularities, irregular appointment and maladministration, but Ipid denies having seen it, while Mkhwebane’s office is adamant it has been sent to them.

Business Day reports that while the office of the public protector says it officially sent the report to both Ipid and McBride, both the directorate and its former boss say they haven’t received it.

Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa told the publication: “I don’t have such a report. I have to confirm with our Executive Director office. I can’t comment without verifying,” while McBride also told Business Day he hadn’t officially received it.

Spokesperson for the office of the public protector Oupa Segalwe told The Citizen the report was sent to Ipid not once but twice.

“It has been sent to Ipid on Thursday last week, to both complainant and respondent. We checked with our team. It was actually sent twice. It was sent to Ipid and then sent again the next day with the emphasis on what parts of it they should deal with highlighted,” he said.

Segalwe did confirm that McBride is yet to receive the report, but said he would soon.

“Previously when we sent him a section 7(9) notice on our potential findings, he asked that the document be sent to Ipid, where he was going to get and eventually got a copy. But the report is being sent to him now via the lawyer that helped him respond to the notice,” he said.

Ipid, which investigates crime and corruption in the South African Police Service (SAPS), is accused along with McBride of irregularly appointing a “cellphone expert” to analyse death threats McBride and his investigators received.

Theresa Botha was permanently employed as a deputy director of the National Specialised Investigation Team, but according to the report had been an “administrative clerk” from 1994 to 2016 and had “never attended any data analysis course within the SAPS”.

Ipid is now expected to “take disciplinary steps” against those involved in Botha’s appointment.

McBride, meanwhile, is accused in the report of having ignored recommendations from the Presidency’s Advocate Richard Moloko that Botha’s appointment would have “adverse” effects.

The report finds that former Ipid investigator Cedrick Nkabinde was improperly suspended by the directorate.

Ipid has not yet indicated if it plans to challenge the report.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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