In the wake of the controversial suspension in 2014 and eventual recent resignation of Anwa Dramat, Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), for his alleged involvement in the illegal deportation of five Zimbabweans in 2010, came the dismissal last Wednesday of Provincial Head of the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (Ipid), Innocent Khuba.
Khuba headed the investigation into the rendition, which initially implicated Dramat and Gauteng Head of the Hawks, Shadrack Sibiya. He and Ipid Head of Investigations, Matthews Sesoko were charged for altering the investigative report.
Dramat’s suspension in December reportedly stemmed from his alleged involvement in this illegal deportation. Ipid Head at the time, Robert McBride, after the suspension of Dramat, reportedly said he had cleared Dramat and Sibiya of involvement.
The Gauteng High Court found Dramat’s suspension unlawful and ordered him to be re-instated in his position in January this year, but this never happened. In April National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega told Parliament that he had resigned after reaching an agreement with Police.
Law firm Werksmans Attorneys last year reportedly accused McBride of getting rid of evidence that implicated Dramat and his colleagues of facilitating the illegal delivery of the Zimbabweans. The report, compiled on behalf of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, said it had been found that evidence implicating Dramat was deleted from Ipid’s initial report. A second report, allegedly exonerating Dramat and Sibiya, was signed off by McBride, Khuba and Sesoko.
The three officials have denied deleting any evidence from the report. McBride and Sibiya were suspended in March and Sibiya was sacked in August. McBride was accused of altering the Zimbabwe rendition report to exonerate Dramat and Sibiya and subjected to a criminal investigation regarding the alleged disappearance of a digital storage device with evidence incriminating himself, Sibiya and Dramat. Dramat then in April turned to the High Court in Gauteng to obtain an interdict against Nhleko from suspending him.
Khuba said he had altered the report about the rendition, seemingly for the purpose of exonerating Mcbride. Khuba reportedly pleaded guilty of dishonesty and defeating the ends of justice in a hearing and was given a final warning letter, valid for six months, recently. Khuba reportedly last Friday signed an affidavit in which he exonerated Mc Bride and Sibiya, saying they never gave instructions to alter the report.
Ipid Spokesperson, Grace Langa confirmed Khuba’s dismissal saying it was with immediate effect. “This senior member of the Ipid was dismissed due to the breakdown of trust between the member and Ipid in that he had on 23 September pleaded guilty to the offences of dishonesty and defeating the ends of justice, and thereafter on 25 September he deposed of a contradictory affidavit in which he changed the version that was included in the agreement. The sanction that was contained in the agreement had been that of a final written warning, but upon reneging on the agreement between himself and the Ipid, the employer has lost faith and there is now a breakdown of trust that is required between the IPID and its employees, especially high ranking officials,” a statement issued by Langa read.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Photo: Innocent Khuba, Hawks Limpopo Provincial Head