The head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, Robert McBride, has come out in full support of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams when he stated on Friday that Berning Ntlemeza, who heads the Hawks, has no business interfering in the business of the NDPP.
Speaking to a local publication, McBride said that the head of the Hawks had no business telling Abrahams who to prosecute or not to prosecute. He bemoaned the fact that there was interference in the way the NDPP was conducting its mandate and he felt that this should be cause for concern. “What we know is that there has been interference and that is frightening,” he said. He said that he has made a resolution that everyone would be investigated impartially and that his organisation would conduct itself in the most professional manner. McBride went on to say that all this had happened before albeit in a different context. “It is not the first time they have interfered with investigations and have collaborated. It’s an indication of the crisis the criminal justice system is in,” he added. He further claimed that there were cases whereby Ntlemeza would interfere with the work of the IPID and said that it was improper and should not be done.
Adding the weight of his voice to quelling the war of words that is going on, Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi admonished both McBride and Ntlemeza for involving themselves in this conflict and urged them to stop the fighting among themselves and be good examples to those in the department. “This thing of the two fighting among themselves is not right. We respect the views of Mr McBride, but if anyone has a problem with the Hawks, they must go to the judge. We work for one government and at the end of the day we have to work together,” he said.
All this emanated from the conflict that has been reported on, whereby Ntlemeza verbally attacked Abrahams and accused him of not doing his job effectively when he let the Finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, off the hook instead of prosecuting him and two of his colleagues from the South African Revenue Services, SARS.