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State capture: Former Hawks boss Dramat was victim of 'orchestrated bid to oust him'

Former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.
Former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.
Image: Sunday Times

There was an "orchestrated effort" to paint former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat in "a bad light".

This was the claim made by independent police investigative directorate (Ipid) national head of investigations Matthews Sesoko at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday.

He said the intention was to find Dramat guilty for allegedly being involved in what later became known as the "Zimbabwean rendition saga".

His testimony mostly collaborated that of his former boss Robert McBride who appeared before the commission in April.

McBride accused ex-police minister Nathi Nhleko of interfering in a law firm investigation that resulted in him being suspended and criminally charged in 2015.

He claimed Nhleko was willing to "abuse processes to achieve his ends" after he appointed international firm Werksmans to probe the Zimbabwean rendition saga.

McBride, Sesoko and another colleague, Innocent Khuba, were suspended and charged for defeating the ends of justice in 2015 on allegations relating to the amendment of an internal Ipid report into the illegal deportation of Zimbabwean murder suspects in 2010.

That matter was widely seen as a political manoeuvre to have Dramat and his Gauteng commander Shadrack Sibiya removed.

Sibiya and Dramat both stood accused of planning and executing an operation that led to the illegal repatriation of five Zimbabweans wanted by that country's police for the murder of a senior officer.

An investigation by Ipid, conducted before McBride's arrival, recommended that the pair be criminally prosecuted on charges of kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.

But after a review of all the evidence was concluded, McBride ruled differently and submitted a second report absolving Dramat and Sibiya.

Sesoko, who has worked at Ipid since its inception in 1997, told the commission that based on his analysis of the case, he concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to prove any misconduct or any criminality on the part of Sibiya and Dramat.

"This was a simple operational issue that could have been explained properly to the minister [Nhleko]. It became clear to us what the intention was," Sesoko said.

He said there was no need to appoint Werksmans.

"It was an orchestrated effort to put Dramat in a bad light. Had our report found wrongdoing or if we had succumbed and manipulated the evidence and made a conclusion that Dramat must be charged for any wrongdoing, we would not have found ourselves in a situation we found ourselves in," Sesoko said.

His testimony is continuing.

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