Mdluli judge: How dare you say that to me?

2013-10-24 11:33

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A furious war of words has broken out between the lawyers representing the police and the high court judge presiding over the matter of suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli.

So dramatic was the exchange that the application for leave to appeal brought by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the police before Judge John Murphy has now been adjourned.

The exchange was sparked when Murphy, who last month overturned the decisions to drop criminal and disciplinary charges against Mdluli, asked Mokhari, who is acting for the police, if national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega wanted Mdluli to return to work.

Mokhari responded that the question was “presumptuous and I will not answer that question”.

“How dare you say that to me?” replied Murphy.

He then said that he’d heard Mokhari’s argument and asked him to sit down.

Mokhari refused.

“I’m not finished with my submission,” said Mokhari.

“I don’t recognise you. You will take a seat,” Murphy then said, despite Mokhari’s objections.

Murphy then adjourned the court for an hour.

The argument in the matter has been over the fact that Freedom Under Law, which has successfully challenged the decisions to drop criminal and disciplinary charges against Mdluli, wants an interdict preventing the crime intelligence head from going back to work while the case is appealed.

Mokhari has, however, argued that this was a substantive application, which should have followed formal court processes and should not have been argued as part of the application for leave to appeal.

After a meeting behind closed doors, Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba indefinitely postponed the matter to allow the police to file further papers.

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