One of the last acts in which Robert McBride served as the director of the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) was recently exposed in a letter to newly appointed National Director of Public Prosecution (NDPP) Shamila Batohi, who was called upon to speed up the fine , Profile cases of which he says they were "singled out" by the police guard.
In the letter – which News24 has seen – McBride notes that he repeatedly appealed to former prosecutor Shaun Abraham for two years to intervene in IPID cases that were not prosecuted.
Now the former IPID boss has officially asked if Abrahams is "biased" in dealing with IPID cases.
McBride, whose IPID chief contract expired on February 28, claims NPA officials have participated in IPID cases.
News24 has seen correspondence between McBride, Abrahams and various IPID officials until May 2017.
The correspondence is attached to a letter that McBride wrote to Batohi. It is dated February 4, 2019.
IPID spokesman Moses Dlamini confirmed the authenticity of the letter and correspondence and told News24 that McBride had written to Batohi asking them to "review the irrational decisions of some of the NPA officials who had searched IPID cases for high-ranking police officers and the persecution there rejected abundant evidence ".
"This situation was allowed by the former NDPP lawyer, Shaun Abrahams, even after the IPID raised his concerns about him," Dlamini said.
In the enlightening correspondence with a total of 101 pages and appendices, McBride appealed to Batohi to intervene in high-level IPID cases and detail how he repeatedly called on Abraham to intervene when decisions were made not to pursue IPID cases.
He added answers from Abrahams indicating that the former NPA chief had examined various issues raised by McBride, but found them to be non-substantive.
McBride refers in his letter to Batohi to a meeting with the then acting NDPP lawyer Silas Ramaite on December 5, 2018.
"At this meeting, we raised concerns about the former NDPP with Adv Ramaite [Abrahams’] Bias in dealing with IPID cases. Even if we made some ideas or raised issues with some of the choices we made [Abrahams] just agree with the decisions of the advocate [George] Baloyi and Adv [Sibongile] Mzinyathi without compelling legal considerations "says the letter from McBride.
"As evidenced by the correspondence with the former NDPP Shaun Abrahams and his replies, I have raised issues with him in interfering with our investigation by experienced SAPS members and some prosecutors in the NPA without any interference."
In his response to McBride, Abrahams explains in detail why he stands by the various prosecutors' decisions and updates McBride on matters he has raised concerns about, including the fact that prosecutors were involved in the interventions of SAPS in IPID investigations ,
Abrahams told McBride that the decisions of the NPA officials had no ulterior motives or nefarious motives.
In his letter to Batohi, however, McBride describes the cases in which he wants to engage the NPA chief, and ends the letter with a request for a meeting with her to discuss the issues he has raised.
His concerns and requests for intervention deal extensively with the cases surrounding former Deputy Commissioner for Police Khomotso Phahlane and a team of SAPS officers from the Klerksdorp Department of Organized Crime under General Ntebo "Jan" Mabula.
IPID previously alleged that Phahlane had used its position to illegally obtain documents pertaining to its investigation into it.
In his letters to Abraham, McBride said that the lawyer defeating the end of the lawsuit against Phahlane felt it was a "criminal case."
He said the matter had been referred to Mzinyathi, who "after some delay in the decision" decided not to prosecute.
McBride also touched on the matter involving Major General Mabula and several other individuals under investigation for torture.
McBride said the actions of Mabula and senior police officers made it clear that there were "rogue elements" in the police who were clearly supported by "some in the NPA in support of their vile targets."
McBride said the matter was decided in 2010 and the suspects were arrested. The cases were later withdrawn to centralize the matter.
But Abrahams denied McBride's allegations and said that all the decisions he had made as NPA chief were made without "fear, favor, or prejudice, and were not remotely controlled by improper motives or influences."
Referring to News24, Abrahams said, "I deny McBride's allegations unfounded and without any evidence IPID matters are normally handled within the jurisdiction of the respective DPP offices or specialized Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (NPA) business units the Marikana affair, the Specialized Commercial Crimes Unit, which deals with the Phahlane affair, and the DPP office [in] Pretoria, who deals with a matter involving McBride and others. "
He said these offices would decide if they would be prosecuted in IPID matters or not.
Abrahams said the SCCU and PCLU can only make decisions in consultation with the DPP concerned.
"DPPs and the heads of specialized law enforcement agencies report to a deputy national director of the prosecutor's office.
"The National Director does not deal with IPID matters and does not take decisions on IPID issues, although he or she may be taught some of these issues, and the National Director would look into the cases when asked to do so, and would also pay attention consider, if required.
"It is a pity that the letters in which McBride made these allegations were not made available to me." According to media reports, especially Mail & Guardian, McBride has submitted an affidavit to the State Catching Commission (Investigation Commission) again with certain reproaches against me, "he said.
Abraham said he intends to respond to all allegations, provided that there are merits as soon as the Zondo Commission of Inquiry writes to him about the arrest of the state.