Johannesburg - News24 has reliably learnt that plans are in motion to have Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride arrested. However, national police spokesperson Vish Naidoo dismissed this as false.
The arrest believed to take place on Monday appears to be in retaliation for the arrest of former acting national police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane.
McBride will allegedly be charged with racketeering.
"As the IPID we are not surprised that so soon after General Phahlane appeared in court on account of our investigation there is push back and this unlawful attack on the IPID," said IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini.
He said that the matter has been brought to the attention of Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, SAPS National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole and former acting National Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba.
"What is staggering is that Phahlane's protection squad continues to undermine a legitimate investigation of massive corruption in the SAPS without anybody telling them to stop. Does this mean that their unlawful actions have approval from the top?"
Dlamini said: "We are of the opinion that IPID is under threat from a criminal syndicate within the police and that these attacks which are based on false allegations are simply a continuation of that criminal agenda. We should caution those who are involved to read section 33 (1) of the IPID Act: Interfering with the work of IPID is a serious offence."
Naidoo dismissed reports of McBride's looming arrest.
"We as police management are not aware of the imminent arrest of Mr McBride or any member of his team. Those that are saying this are spreading malicious rumours," he said.
During a lengthy interview with eNCA on Saturday night, McBride said the issue was about a counter investigation against IPID."
We had expressed a problem with the way the investigation was being conducted. From its inception it was an investigation ordered by Phahlane.... If Phahlane was unhappy with the way that our investigation was going, he could have taken me to court but instead he ordered a counter investigation."
He explained that the counter investigation on its own was "disturbing, interrupting and hampering" IPID's investigation."IPID is an oversight body, out of all the police and detectives in the world, Phahlane decides to choose a unit from out of the province, exactly the unit that we are investigating for human rights abuses, surely there are other detectives just as good as the North West rogue unit."
When asked what he might be charged with he said: "Treason is a bit of a joke coming from people who served the old apartheid government. Whereas many of us sacrificed to establish this democracy and we seek to protect it and fight against corruption, money laundering and fraud and the abuse of power."
When asked whether he was going to be arrested, McBride said: "I don't know. In a toxic environment of fake news, agent provocateurs, you take it as it comes. It is important that we do not jump to conclusions and run on rumours. "We are aware that there are some people creating rumours to cause over reaction. We are quiet calm about it and we are dealing with things procedurally and deal with evidence in terms of the law, that is how we work." McBride was not immediately available to comment when News24 contacted him.