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State Capture Inquiry

AmaBhungane journalist alleges Robert McBride exposed Bheki Cele as corrupt

9 April 2019 8:11 AM
AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism's Sam Sole unpacks his article on the fallout between Cele and McBride.

Journalist and managing partner of the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, Sam Sole, has written a compelling article about what is behind the fallout between former Ipid boss Robert McBride and Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.

McBride was scheduled to testify at The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday, however, his testimony has been postponed to Thursday.

Read: McBride testimony postponed yet again at Zondo Commission

To discuss the article, Sole Speaks to Bongani Bingwa on #702Breakfast.

Sole says state capture began with the capture of the security networks and the National Prosecution Authority (NPA).

State capture was initially a project to protect the then president Jacob Zuma from the prosecution that has now resumed.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

What I tried to show was how the consequences of that battle - of the successful attempts to control the police, the Hawks and the intelligence services - are still working their way through now. The fight between McBride and Cele are part of that history.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

There were a couple of key turning points in the Zuma era where the state capture project was pushed back, he adds.

McBride was removed as head of Ipid. He went to court and the matter eventually went to the ConCourt and he was reinstated. The other case where the courts came to our rescue, was the removal of the head of the Hawks general Ntlemeza. Those were two turning points.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Sole believes that when McBride returned to Ipid he started a campaign to clean out what he regarded as dirty police officers.

Cops that have been put in for political reasons, reasons to protect their political masters and also their own secrets.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

What we see is that eventually set him on a collision course with Bheki Cele because of a list of allegations of Cele's history and ways in which he might have been compromised by crime intelligence.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

He notes that when McBride returned to Ipid, he was investigating the top structures of the police.

McBride had some of his own sources providing him with information from within crime intelligence and he already picked up issues of a company called Eye View that was supplying security equipment to the police.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

Someone in the police tipped off Ipid that there was a plan to buy a grabber which is a machine to surveil cellphone conversations just ahead of the Nasrec conference.

Sam Sole, Journalist and managing partner - amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism

McBride discovered that the price for this machine was massively inflated and in his affidavit claims he has reason to believe that it was an attempt to launder money to produce cash that was going to buy off delegates, recounts Sole.

You can read Sole's full expose in the Daily Maverick here:

Listen below to the full interview:


9 April 2019 8:11 AM

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