The tide turns against Mdluli

2012-05-19 18:46

Senior police officers expect former crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli to be suspended this week – for the second time.

And that’s not the only bad news for the controversial cop.

The Hawks are “waiting in the wings” to arrest him and other crime intelligence officers for the alleged plundering of a R200 million “slush fund”.

Mdluli was suspended last year by General Bheki Cele – who was subsequently also suspended – after the Hawks arrested him for murder.

But he was controversially reinstated to his job in March after pressure by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

This week an emboldened acting police chief Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi moved against Mdluli and told Mthethwa the move had nothing to do with him.

City Press was reliably told that a day after Mdluli and crime intelligence finance chief Major General Solly Lazarus were served with notices of intention to suspend, Mthethwa called Mkhwanazi to complain about not being told of the move beforehand.

The acting police chief then told the minister “it was an operational matter and had nothing to do with him”.

This week, Mdluli kept a low profile and told the SABC he was on “sick leave” due to emotional stress.

Three sources close to the case said Mkhwanazi’s hand was strengthened by the filing of a court application by rights group Freedom Under Law this week.

Besides allegations of nepotism, fraud and mismanagement of the “slush fund”, the police are also preparing to charge Mdluli with running a second, R40 million-strong secret fund without authorisation.

And the Hawks are finalising their probe into the unit with the aim of making a number of high-profile arrests.

Freedom Under Law’s Dr Mamphela Ramphele asked the North Gauteng High Court this week to interdict Mdluli from performing any policing duties.

As part of her application, Ramphele submitted a confidential report by Hawks Detective Colonel Kobus Roelofse, which outlined interference with the murder and fraud investigations against Mdluli.

Freedom Under Law also wants the court to review Mdluli’s reinstatement and the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority to withdraw fraud and corruption charges against him.

Mthethwa’s spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi, said decisions of suspension “become management issues to deal with”.


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