Sexwale slams govt over Mdluli saga

2012-06-04 07:29

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has lashed out at government over the way it handled the suspension of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

The Times reported today that Sexwale, who was speaking at the Rhema Bible Church in Mthatha, Eastern Cape yesterday, said the Mdluli saga had resulted in a loss in the public’s confidence in the justice system.

“There is concern about the evidence of political interference and partiality [to benefit] Mdluli,” he said.

“We put people in authority and we get terrified of them. You fear an MEC, a mayor, a minister. You fear premiers, you fear the president ... South Africa cannot be reduced to a country of fear where we fear to speak.”

Mdluli was suspended for the third time yesterday when the Johannesburg Labour Court ruled that a court order setting aside Mdluli’s suspension last Friday be rescinded.

Sexwale praised police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi for pursuing Mdluli’s suspension.

“Major people are quiet, but this cop says: ‘If there’s a corrupt cop and his friends are stealing your money... then we should jail this cop’. Praise the Lord for Mkhwanazi,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SA Police Service and Mdluli’s lawyers were expected to appear in the Johannesburg Labour Court today.

“We just received a call from the court registrar saying we have to be in court by 10am,” said Brigadier Lindela Mashigo.

Mashigo said the SAPS would appear in court even though the court had ruled in favour of its application yesterday.

“Even though the decision was made on Sunday, the hearing was originally set for Monday and it is still on the court roll,” he said.

“So we will be appearing, even though we are not sure what will happen today.”

In court papers, attorney William Mokhari SC arguing for acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi on Saturday, said Friday’s order was secured under circumstances which were grossly irregular.

He questioned how the court could have ruled on the matter when the case had been set down for today.

Mokhari said all parties involved in the case were informed on Thursday afternoon that it would only be heard today.

Mdluli was suspended for the second time on May 27 by Mkhwanazi.

Last year, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges relating to the misuse of a secret crime intelligence fund to buy luxury vehicles, and to hire family members.

He also faced a murder charge for the death of his former lover’s husband, Oupa Ramogibe. The charges led to his initial suspension.

This year, all the charges were withdrawn and Mdluli was reinstated in March.

This was widely criticised by, among others, the Democratic Alliance and lobby group Freedom Under Law.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa later moved Mdluli to a different division but Mkhwanazi subsequently opted to suspend him.

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