Mdluli: I’m just a shy guy

2012-06-09 16:39

Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli this week described himself as a “very shy person” who has been “forcibly catapulted into the public arena” by an “unrelenting” media campaign.

In his answering affidavit to rights group Freedom Under Law’s high court application to bar him from working as a cop, Mdluli said: “I have maintained my relative quiet (sic). I can only recall (a few times) where I ever spoke to the media, viewed against my being a daily bread for certain media houses who, to a very great degree, have been punting the same story over and over again.”

It has been a dramatic week for the embattled police department:
» President Jacob Zuma sacked General Bheki Cele after he was found guilty of mismanagement by a commission of inquiry;

» The head of human resources, divisional commissioner Manoko Nchwe, resigned after being served with a notice of intention to suspend relating to an Audi Q5 bought by crime intelligence funds for her personal use;

» Major General Solly Lazarus, head of the crime intelligence “slush fund”, was suspended for a second time; and

» Acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said there was an ongoing campaign to discredit him after he was accused of spending R35 million on buying police cars.

On Wednesday, North Gauteng High Court Judge Ephraim Makgoba granted an interim interdict barring Mdluli from performing any function or duty as a police officer.

Makgoba ruled that Mdluli’s affidavit amounted to no more than a “critical commentary of the factual allegations against him”.

The interdict means that, even if the police again lift Mdluli’s suspension, he will not be able to return to work pending the court review.

The case’s second part will see Freedom Under Law asking the court to review and set aside decisions to drop criminal charges of murder, corruption and fraud against Mdluli, as well as an earlier decision to reinstate him and halt his disciplinary hearing.

Mdluli argued in his affidavit that the media’s strategy was to repeat “something with an ever-increasing vigour. Even if a lie, unsuspecting minds may start believing it”.

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