State capture inquiry
Cop who ‘fabricated’ cases against Pravin Gordhan in self-isolation, unable to attend Zondo commission
Brig Nyameko Xaba, who was scheduled to testify at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday, was excused after showing symptoms of coronavirus infection.
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo granted the application for Xaba to be excused after his legal representative, advocate Mothlba Monala, told the inquiry his client suspected he might have Covid-19 after showing symptoms from Sunday.
Xaba was supposed to appear to answer questions, among other things, about his alleged role in what former Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride described as a unit used to victimise opponents of former president Jacob Zuma during his tenure.
The Crimes Against the State (Cats) unit was headed by Xaba and reported directly to illegally appointed former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza, McBride testified last year.
McBride said at the time: “This unit was used to pursue a political agenda and to target individuals within the criminal justice cluster who stood up against state capture. It is headed by Brig Nyameko Xaba, who reported to Ntlemeza. The same unit investigated other fabricated cases against minister Pravin Gordhan and the so-called rogue unit, and seems to have taken instructions or worked with SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane.”
On Tuesday, Monala said Xaba was in self-isolation after testing for Covid-19.
“He (Xaba) is aware he was due to testify here today, but on July 26 he experienced pains, which were confirmed by a doctor to be symptoms of Covid-19, and was directed to undergo testing and isolate himself,” said Monala. “There are a number of cases in his workplace and on this basis, we request a postponement and for his hearing to stand down until the results come back, which should be no later than Friday.”
Zondo granted the request, saying it was a “genuine” explanation, particularly having learnt that the office space in which Xaba works had been closed owing to Covid-19 infections.
“I will postpone the hearing of his evidence to a date still to be determined. We will arrange the date anyway, but it will not be too close so it will allow him enough time to recover in case the results are positive. If there is a problem with the next date, we will take it from there."