Weekend Paper Wrap Up with Bob Mabena
Written by: Bob Mabena
The Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko appointed Werksman to investigate why findings of the Independent Police Investigative Directive into police rendition of Zimbabwean nationals were altered radically just days after Robert McBride took over IPID in March last year. This is briefly what the conclusion of the Werksman report entailed: McBride and three others should be charged criminally for removing evidence from a previous IPID report to exonerate Dramat and a one Sibiya. The original charges against Dramat must be reinstated, home affairs officials must be charged for their part in the renditions and the NPA must be investigated for irregularities in its handling of the docket and IPID reports.
My take on this spy versus spy novel is that I find it strange that the ruling party would go to great lengths to try diminishing the powers of the office of the public protector and even going to the extent of publicly saying that her findings are mere suggestions and recommendations. It would seem, at least at face value- they would rather pay a Sandton Law firm, leak its finding and later take a view or decision based on the same findings. Are the two cops – McBride and Dramat being victimized? Did they commit a crime? We don’t know. Did two Zimbabweans die after they were illegally taken back home? Yes. What we do know for sure is that a series of crimes were committed and as a consequence, a few nefarious individuals must face the law. The application of actions by organs of state must be fair and never favour or prejudice any one.
On to other news: Two by two they go. First it was Clayson Monyela who had a torrid week last week, after Minister In the presidency, Jeff Hadebe made a contrary statement to his official DIRCO one on simmering tensions between us and the Nigerians. As if that wasn’t enough, Monyela seems to be caught up in a tender scandal. This week is going to be a very tough week for the DIRCO spin doctor who up until now, has been doing a fantastic job reporting to Minister Nkoane Mashabane. He will unfortunately be joined in the pity party by Sbu Leope who finds himself at odds with the long arm of the law. And finally; sadly the other two are Ben E King and BB King. The prior passed on last week in New Jersey and BB King is apparently not doing well at all. Fingers crossed for the celebrated and accomplished blues guitar man.
And finally, a sad story that just won’t go away is ripening, and by that I mean the big guns are now coming in. I am talking here about the SARS issues which I am sure Pravin Gordan was hoping and praying would disappear. The long and short of this story – SARS has within its offices; what print media called a “rogue spy unit”. This unit was supposed to help bolster SARS investigations into huge white collar crimes that needed a strong focus. The big question here isn’t the mere existence of this unit – the biggest unanswered question is who approved it? If Pravin Gordan approved this unit, by implication, then is would Trevor Manuel have been the Minister to rubber stamp it. The last question is this – why is there so much stress about this unit and why is it called rouge? If you check with most developed states, you will find that a unit at this level exists and operates above board.