Minister denies claims

2012-05-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa gave no order for the investigations into Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli to be dropped.

Nor was Mdluli shifted from his position as crime intelligence boss because he had interfered in the investigation against him by demanding that documents that the Hawks seized be returned to him.

This is according to Mthethwa’s spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi.

“He was moved mainly because of the tension among the senior police officials and the alleged letter now being investigated by the task team,” he said yesterday.

“That was the main reason for the move. Please note that the minister has not yet seen the controversial letter. Now I see that the president has not received it either. The task team will have to investigate whether the letter does, in fact, exist, and what its content is.”

Accusations against Mdluli of nepotism, corruption and alleged mismanagement of a crime intelligence secret fund have been constantly in the news recently. These allegations are being investigated.

Dissatisfaction in the police’s top management about a letter in which Mdluli apparently undertook to support Zuma as a senior member of the ANC, appears to be behind the move.

In his budget speech Mthethwa said that a letter which Mdluli wrote to him (among others) caused major tension in the police’s top management. “The letter refers to a conspiracy against him [Mdluli] by some in top management.”

That led to the announcement of Mdluli’s move by Mthethwa in his budget speech last Wednesday.

A task team led by the state legal adviser is investigating this issue because it indicates political interference in the police’s functions, Mthethwa said.

Mnisi’s remarks follow a report in the Sunday Independent that Mthethwa apparently told acting police chief Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi to drop the investigation against Mdluli.

Mthethwa apparently gave the order in the presence of advocate Faith Radebe, the inspector-general of intelligence.

A report in the Sunday Times says that two weeks before he was moved, Mdluli also apparently demanded that the Hawks return to him all the documents they had seized at his office.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel McIntosh Polela said no documents have been handed over or returned to crime intelligence.

Meanwhile, Mdluli refuted claims in the City Press that he once worked as a member of the notorious Security Branch.

He told Vuyo Mvoko of SABC1’s Sunday Live that he was a detective during apartheid, but was never part of the SB.

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