Barely 24 hours after the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) dropped fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the authority has equally withdrawn charges against Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid)‚ Head Robert McBride.
The NPA backed off from the prosecution after it failed to argue its case beyond reasonable doubt and consultation with witnesses.
Prosecutor Sello Maema told the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday afternoon: “After consultations… it has been apparent to the State that a prosecution would no longer be viable and we withdraw all charges.
NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku also confirmed that charges against McBride and other senior Ipid employees have been withdrawn.
“The charges have been withdrawn after consultation with witnesses the state would be unable to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Mfaku.
McBride, alongside former director of investigations at the Ipid Matthew Sesoko and Innocent Khuba were being investigated by elite unit the Hawks for fraud and defeating the ends of justice.
The charges against them are linked to the investigation they launched on former Hawks head Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat and his role in the illegal deportation of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.
Report on the illegal deportation showed that McBride deliberately exonerated Dramat from facing criminal prosecution by altering the content of the report.
Ipid Head Robert McBride has welcomed NPA’s decision, adding that he knew from the beginning that he had no case to answer. He asserted that he’s aware he’s being targeted because of the high-level investigations his office conducts.
“He is very pleased that the case has been withdrawn‚ but he had always believed that there was never a case against him. It shows that it was malicious and the prosecution was an attack on the independence of Ipid‚” his spokesperson Moses Dlamini.