Investigative unit Viewfinder and Eyewitness News has reported how the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has been prematurely closing cases without proper investigations to meet targets and attract more funding.
The expose reveals a paper trail of reports by the Public Protector’s office, and by Ipid’s risk and ethics department, pointing to a systemic failure to properly investigate cases.
Former Ipid head Robert McBride responded to the allegations on the Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph
Eyewitness News reporter Kgomotso Modise has the full story.
There are a number of documents that we as Eyewitness News have managed to get our hands on through Viewfinder's help.— Kgomotso Modise, Reporter - EWN
Modise says the Public Protector was alerted to the matter back in 2012, when it was taken up with the then Ipid head.
We have seen documents such as a letter from the Public Protector's office, it is understood that letter was a response to a whistleblower who had written to then public protector Thuli Madonsela to say this is the challenge that they are having. The whistleblower alleges that they are being rushed to complete cases, the integrity of their work is being compromised because of this and he was asking for the matter to be investigated.— Kgomotso Modise, Reporter - EWN
Modise says the paper trail reveals how in 2014, a series of documents were compiled by officials who did site visits in at least three provinces where investigators at provincial level said they had felt pressured to complete cases and were forced to meet monthly targets to get better funding from treasury.
She says a variety of cases seem to have been compromised.
A database that has also been shared with me, shows cases like rape, assaults as well as death in police custody. We asking ourselves how did this happen and why was this not being followed up?— Kgomotso Modise, Reporter - EWN
We are seeing from the data that we have that in 2012 already, before his [Robert McBride's] appointment, there were complaints to the public protector and during his period, and after his period.— Kgomotso Modise, Reporter - EWN
The question we need to be asking to Ipid leadership at the time, is what was done when you were aware that this was happening? That is the question that I think many of the officials from 2012 to 2015 are answerable to.— Kgomotso Modise, Reporter - EWN
Click on the link below to hear the full report...
It is said in an interview with Viewfinder, Ipid’s head of investigation Matthews Sesoko said these allegations emerged between March 2015 and October 2016, the period that he and Robert McBride were on suspension but Eyewitness News has seen documents which show that Ipid’s former head of ethics and risk, Amar Maharaj, alerted McBride to the shortcut investigations as early as 2014.
McBride responded to the allegations on the Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph. He insists he dealt with every matter brought to his attention.
Issues between 2012 and 2014, I was not aware of it, even if you look at the story, it's complaints given to the public protector and I am not sure it came back with any decisive finding.— Robert McBride, Former Ipid head
Amar Maharaj is a drama queen. I think he is taking credit where it is not his due. Amar Maharaj came back in April 2014 after I reinstated him, by August we had done the provincial visits on my initiative. He will exaggerate his importance because he is busy appealing his dismissal.— Robert McBride, Former Ipid head
During the lekgotla we set up these other new units to look at these specific dockets. We did away with the word of closing cases, we introduced a word 'decision ready' - which says it is now ready, it as all the evidence to be submitted for a decision or to the police for disciplinary process. Those are the interventions I made.— Robert McBride, Former Ipid head
He did not specifically complain to me on this issue.— Robert McBride, Former Ipid head
On every occasion when a complaint was brought to my attention, I dealt with it immediately.— Robert McBride, Former Ipid head
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