Former police minister Nathi Nhleko to testify at Zondo commission on Monday

Former minister of police Nathi Nhleko is expected to take the witness stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.

The chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Friday that the commission will throughout next week hear law enforcement related testimony.

Former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride last year testified at the commission that Nhleko employed a Zimbabwean convicted fraudster who had no security clearance, as chief of staff in his office during his tenure at the ministry.

McBride told the commission that the said individual was known as Leon Mbangwa, however, his real name was Lionel Moyo and that he was arrested in 2000 for using a false identity document and was sentenced and served a custodial sentence.

He also told the commission that Moyo appeared in court on 31 March 2019 for using false identity documentation.

READ MORE: Former minister of police employed a convicted fraudster – McBride

The commission also heard last year that Nhleko suspended McBride for “altering” the preliminary report in the rendition of Zimbabweans.

This matter relates to the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in 2010, when at least four Zimbabweans were abducted and illegally deported.

During November 2010 and January 2011, several Zimbabweans were allegedly abducted and handed over to Zimbabwean police by their South African counterparts.

Zimbabwean security forces killed Witness Ndeya. Shepherd Tshuma was tortured and released. Prichard Tshuma is also believed to have been killed. Gordon Dube, who was suspected of involvement in the murder of Bulawayo serious fraud squad head Lawrence Chatikobo, was handed to Zimbabwe’s police.

Former Hawks head AnwaDramat, former Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya and Hawks cross-border desk head Leslie “Cowboy” Maluleke were investigated in relation to the operation.

Last year, McBride told Zondo that an initial report on the matter recommended that they all be charged criminally. However, after taking up office as the Ipid head, McBride was briefed on the case, he reviewed it and completed a second report which did not make such a recommendation, the commission heard.

McBride told the commission that he could not find prima facie evidence that Dramat and Sibiya had committed any crime, hence he recommended that they should not be prosecuted. However, he said he recommended that Maluleke should be held accountable.

McBride said soon after Nhleko took up the position in the police ministry, he requested the former Ipid head to send him the report on the matter, which he did, sending the second report to the former minister.

A few weeks later, the minister’s spokesperson announced that Dramat was suspended based on recommendations by an Ipid report, McBride said, adding that this prompted him and the spokesperson of the directorate to issue a public statement contradicting the announcement.

McBride told the commission that he later learned that the minister had based his decision on the initial provisional report which was incomplete because it did not include exculpatory evidence.

He further said following Dramat’s suspension, he, at a later stage, suggested to Nhleko that the minister had erred on Dramat’s suspension, but Nhleko was dismissive of this suggestion.

Nhleko then suspended McBride on March 25, 2015, accusing the former Ipid head of misleading the National Prosecuting Authority by allegedly altering his original rendition reports implicating Sibiya and Dramat.

READ MORE: Nathi Nhleko ‘based Anwa Dramat’s suspension on wrong Ipid report’

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