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Nhleko to address rendition report in Parliament

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Police Minister Nathi Nhleko will address a report implicating former Hawks head Anwa Dramat in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in Parliament, his spokesperson said on Sunday.

It was “important to account to the institution that he reports to”, his spokesperson Musa Zoni said.

Asked about the report’s contents, Zondi said: “That’s what those who are reporting on it are saying. I don’t think necessarily those who have reported it that way are wrong.”

The report, commissioned by Nhleko and produced by law firm Werksmans, recommends suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride be criminally charged for allegedly changing a report implicating Dramat and the Hawks’ suspended Gauteng head Shadrack Sibiya in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans.

Ipid investigators produced two reports on the renditions. The second one was written after McBride became Ipid head in February last year, and allegedly to exonerate senior police officials including Dramat and Sibiya.

Two of the Zimbabweans were killed by police in Zimbabwe, one disappeared and one was allegedly tortured, following the renditions in 2010 and 2011, the Sunday Times reported.

The Werksmans report further recommended that Dramat, who resigned as Hawks head last month, Sibiya, and four other Hawks officials should be criminally charged with kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice, and face an internal disciplinary hearing.

Sibiya was suspended on 20 January, McBride on 24 March. Nhleko suspended Dramat in December last year. A day after his suspension, Dramat wrote to the minister claiming he was being targeted because he was investigating “dockets implicating influential people”.

He said he feared for his life, and would be willing to accept early retirement, as provided for in the Police Act, if Nhleko lifted his suspension.

Unnamed sources told Netwerk24 at the time that Dramat was being targeted because he refused to let go of the investigation into spending on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

On 21 April, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that Dramat, a lieutenant general, officially resigned as head of the Hawks. She told Parliament at the time that Dramat and the police had reached a settlement.

Phiyega would not reveal details about the settlement, saying it was at Dramat’s request and that he was no longer working for the police.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in January that Dramat’s suspension was unconstitutional and that he should be reinstated. Dramat, however, never returned to office, and his lawyers were in talks with the minister’s legal team until his resignation.

The Hawks referred requests for comment to the police ministry. News24

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