Mdluli’s dispute with police ‘not ANC’s concern’

2012-05-22 00:00

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has downplayed concerns within the ANC over former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, who is set to be suspended soon.

Mantashe told journalists at a briefing yesterday on the party’s national executive committee meeting that Mdluli’s dispute with the police was not the party’s concern.

“Why should the case of a civil servant in trouble with his department become a national matter?” Mantashe told journalists in the Luthuli House foyer.

“Why should it be elevated to a national question?”

Mantashe admitted Mdluli was discussed at the meeting, which took place at St George’s Hotel in Irene at the weekend, but he said: “Why should the NEC spend an hour discussing that civil servant?

“That department can shift a man, that department can expel a man. It’s a civil servant.”

He also said Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale’s complaint to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, lodged at the weekend, on the “ground coverage” intelligence report was a complaint by “an individual citizen”.

“It can’t be an issue of the NEC,” he said.

Sexwale, a member of the NEC, wanted Madonsela to investigate the report, in which he was named as the leader of a conspiracy to remove President Jacob Zuma, which Sexwale has denied.

Sexwale said that if Mdluli had anything to do with the report, he had possibly abused state resources to investigate intra-party issues. Mdluli denied knowledge of the report.

Acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi yesterday morning confirmed to Xolani Gwala on SAFM’s AM Live that he had signed a notice to suspend Mdluli on Sunday, May 13.

Mkhwanazi said that he did not know whether the notice had been served.

Mdluli was first suspended in 2011 when he was arrested on fraud and murder allegations, but the suspension was lifted in March.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa earlier this month announced Mdluli would be moved sideways within the police.

Mdluli has been on sick leave since Friday.

Mantashe told journalists yesterday morning “that a department can expel a man or shift him sideways; [it] should not be an issue”.

Ministers like Fikile Mbalula have previously complained that Mdluli was involved in tapping their phones and there is a perception that Mdluli was being protected by Zuma.

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said at a briefing on the party’s congress discussion document yesterday he agreed with Mkhwanazi’s view that the rot in the police should be stopped.

“You can’t deal with crime if there is rot in our own ranks,” he said.

But Nzimande said the issue around Mdluli’s suspension was one “between an employer and an employee”.

He said: “We have confidence in the minister [of police, Nathi Mthethwa and the commissioner [to deal with the matter].

“We don’t want to be sensational and grab headlines and we can’t be judging people’s actions on whether we like or dislike it, or suspect him or not,” he added.

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