The testimony of former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride opened a new frontier at the Zondo commission that was hitherto unexplored. The breakdown of the security institutions was a key component in facilitating and protecting state capture. This is responsible for the prevailing paralysis in the criminal justice system and the general culture of impunity in the country. While a few witnesses have testified about how senior members of the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) plotted to sabotage and suppress investigations, McBride is the first person who served in a senior position in a security institution to give evidence. McBride has merely scratched the surface in terms of the political interference in the security agencies with his experiences as executive director of the police watchdog. It took years of scheming and political manoeuvres to mould the Hawks, police crime intelligence, the State Security Agency and the NPA int...

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