NATIONAL NEWS - National head of investigations at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Matthews Sesoko has taken the stand at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday, to unwrap allegations, dating back to around 2011, relating to the rendition of Zimbabwean citizens from South Africa to our neighboring country.
Rendition refers to the government-sponsored extrajudicial transfer of a citizen from one country to another so that the country’s laws can be circumvented.
Sesoko detailed how he was approached by then Executive Director of IPID, Francois Beukman to assemble a team to investigate the rendition of five Zimbabwean nationals between 2010 and 2011.
Sesoko, who took the stand to corroborate the evidence of his former boss Robert McBride, told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was approached to probe allegations of the rendition of the Zimbabwean citizens by the South African Police Services (SAPS).
He claimed Beukman instructed him that then police minister Nathi Mthethwa wanted IPID to investigate the matter in 2010.
He claims a year later he handed over the renditions investigation to the SAPS Crime Intelligence Gathering Division (CIG).
The matter was later handed over to IPID under the instructions of Mthethwa. He referred the docket to Koekie Mbeki, who was then appointed acting executive director at IPID. Sesoko claims his role included being consulted and briefed on national investigations.
The commission heard how Sesoko appointed Innocent Khuba to formulate a team to investigate rendition allegations and how Khuba who had begun investigations briefed Mbeki on the case and allegedly informed her that she should consult him during the course of the investigations.
He was instructed by Mbeki to hand over the docket to Khuba to investigate going forward. Sesoko also claimed Mbeki instructed Khuba not to work or discuss investigations with him but instead collaborate with CIG members. He further alleged that Khuba was informed to keep the collaboration a secret.
Sesoko says he found Ms Mbeki’s instructions to be unusual and problematic because he should properly have been kept abreast of the investigations.
“I found my exclusion from the investigation to be irregular as members of the CIG were themselves involved in the arrest of the Zimbabwean nationals that were subsequently rendered to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Sesoko then said that around 24 April 2015, Werksmans Attorneys released a report on their findings and to his surprise, recommend that Khuba, McBride and himself be charged with defeating the ends of justice for allegedly altering the so-called first report.
He was later told by head of the directorate, Israel Kgamanyane, that they intended to suspend him for this.
His testimony continues.
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko)