Dramat, Sibiya, Maluleke get bail in rendition case

Dramat, Sibiya, Maluleke get bail in rendition case

Former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat and two other suspended senior officers of the police’s specialised crime fighting unit were granted bail of R5,000 each in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Anwa Dramat

Former Hawks boss Anwa Dramat and two other suspended senior officers of the police’s specialised crime fighting unit were granted bail of R5,000 each in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Dramat, along with suspended Gauteng Hawks boss Major General Shadrack Sibiya and Captain Lesley Maluleke, appeared in connection with their alleged involvement in the rendition of four Zimbabweans in 2010.

The accused are facing seven charges, including four of kidnapping, two of defeating the ends of justice, and one of contravening the Immigration Act.

The matter has been postponed to May 6.

The matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). During the bail application on Friday, the prosecution read out the investigating officer’s affidavit confirming that a rendition case against the three has been investigated and evidence on the matter was ready for prosecution.

The State told the court that it would not oppose bail as their residential addresses had been verified.

Legal representatives, Michael Twala, advocate Naume Makana and Johnny Nortje, representing Maluleke, Sibiya and Dramat respectively, told the court that their clients were willing to pay bail and hand over their travel documents to the court.

However, Prosecutor George Baloyi told court that the State did not deem it necessary for the accused to surrender their passports because there were no fears that the three would attempt to evade trial.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the state did not oppose bail because the accused have permanent addresses in the country and are South African citizens with little intention of absconding.

Mfaku then hit out at allegations that the prosecution was politically motivated, saying that there was no any political interference in the timing and decision to prosecute and that there was no relationship between the case and that of the suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) boss Robert McBride.

“The prosecutors meticulously evaluated the evidence contained in the docket and decided on the basis of the evidence that there is a case to answer, that is why the accused were indicted. There are no conspiracies whatsoever. It has become fashionable for people to invoke some wild conspiracy theories when they are to appear in court.

“They must just come to court and present whatever evidence at their disposal that they are innocent. Their appearance in court today was not timed. We (NPA) issued a statement three weeks ago (on 16 February) that the accused in this case will appear in court within two weeks but due to their legal representatives’ unavailability at the time, the attorneys then suggested today’s date,” said Mfaku.

Victor Nkhwashu, speaking on behalf of the legal representatives of all three accused, told journalists outside court that the defence was glad that the case was now on the court roll and that their clients would be able to prove their innocence in the matter.

“Our clients have always professed their innocence in the matter, however, we would not be in a position at this stage to go into the merits of the case, much less the conspiracy (that the case is politically motivated) where we don’t have anything to substantiate,” said Nkhwashu.

“At this stage we are very pleased that the matter will be in the court of law, where the issues will now be ventilated, our clients are very confident that if this matter is heard in a court of law they will have justice and this matter would be put to rest once and for all.”

It is alleged that in November 2010 and January 2011 the trio participated in the arrest of seven Zimbabwean immigrants and subsequently unlawfully surrendered four of the fugitives to the Zimbabwean police for arrest.

The four fugitives were reportedly suspects in the murder of a Zimbabwean police superintendent that took place at a restaurant in Bulawayo.

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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